Robotic welcome for Duke of York

HRH the Duke of York at the AMRC training centre with Andrew Wightman from IMG Robotics.
HRH the Duke of York at the AMRC training centre with Andrew Wightman from IMG Robotics.
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No wonder he looks amused.

This robot arm - programmed by apprentices Nathan Bailey and Matthew Williams - wrote ‘Welcome to the AMRC Training Centre’ before rubbing it out.

It was one of several moments of wonder for the Duke of York when he toured the facility - part of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre - after performing the official opening.

He said: “I’m blown away by the commitment of everybody here to what is the future.

“I wish all of you apprentices who are going through this every success. ”

During the tour, His Royal Highness was shown how the centre combines state-of-the-art educational facilities with production-class manufacturing equipment.

The Duke, an active supporter of expanding access to apprenticeships, also met some of the Catcliffe centre’s 260 current trainees, their employers and staff.

It will eventually provide advanced apprentice training for 750 young people aged 16 and upwards.

Apprentices can go on to qualifications up to doctorate and MBA level, thanks to the centre’s links with both Sheffield universities.

Apprentices come from a wide range of manufacturers with operations in Sheffield city region including Tata Steel, Rolls-Royce, Sheffield Forgemasters, AESSEAL, MTL Group and Newburgh Engineering, in addition to the Sheffield University-owned AMRC itself.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Sir Keith Burnett said: “His Royal Highness has supported the work of our engineers and member companies every step of the way.

“We know he takes personal satisfaction in seeing how our research is being applied within UK companies, helping them to compete for business around the world.

“The Duke has also always been aware that this work is about more than products, it is about the skills and jobs which offer opportunity to young people and which change their lives.”

Director of Training, Alison Bettac, added: “We have shown the blueprint for developing the vocational education and skills British manufacturing needs.

“And a route into further and higher education.”