Double boost for manufacturing in Sheffield in deals with Close Brothers and Boeing

Manufacturing in Sheffield has received a double boost after Boeing signed a new five-year contract with a research centre and a bank said it would pay to train 15 apprentices.
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The aerospace company will continue as a ‘Tier 1’ partner at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Rotherham. Tier 1 partners pay £200,000-a-year and have access to industrial and machining capabilities, and a seat on the board.

Boeing jointly founded the AMRC with the University of Sheffield in 2001. Today it employs 456.

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Meanwhile, merchant banking group Close Brothers has said it will pay for 15 apprentices to attend the AMRC’s Training Centre, and contribute 50 per cent of their wages in the first year and 25 per cent in the second.

University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre apprentices Tina Donnelly, left, and Amy Brown.University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre apprentices Tina Donnelly, left, and Amy Brown.
University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre apprentices Tina Donnelly, left, and Amy Brown.

The bank says it wants to help SMEs after the pandemic had a ‘profound impact’ on the number of apprenticeship courses.

Sir Martin Donnelly, president of Boeing Europe and managing director Boeing in the UK and Ireland, said over the last 20 years the two organisations had created jobs, innovation, inspiration and inward investment.

He added: “At its core the agreement looks to the future and what more we can achieve through world-class researchers and industry working together.”

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The AMRC has more than 120 industrial partners including Rolls-Royce, McLaren Automotive, Siemens and BAE Systems.

The AMRC is in Rotherham.The AMRC is in Rotherham.
The AMRC is in Rotherham.

Its relationship with Boeing was a major factor in the decision to build ‘Boeing Sheffield’, the company’s first factory in Europe which opened in 2018.

Steve Foxley, the AMRC’s chief executive officer, recently launched a 10-year plan for the AMRC.

Some 67 jobs are ‘at risk’ as part of a three-month consultation which will lead to 15 job losses.

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He said the Boeing deal sent a ‘strong signal of confidence’ in the region’s advanced manufacturing excellence, innovation and expertise.

Close Brothers chief executive Adrian Sainsbury said their continued investment in apprenticeships showed their commitment to supporting small and medium-sized enterprises and give young people from all backgrounds a chance to learn a trade and carve out a career.

Director of the AMRC Training Centre, Nikki Jones, said: “The Close Brothers scheme will allow more SMEs, some of which wouldn’t necessarily be able to take on an apprentice otherwise, to benefit from our apprentices’ fresh-thinking, skills and know-how.”

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