Apprentices from the new AMRC Training Centre are poised to persuade the next generation of school-leavers to follow in their footsteps.
Links between the training centre and Sheffield Hallam University have led to all training centre apprentices becoming STEM ambassadors – promoting the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to pupils at school.
The Centre has also developed ties with the new University Technical College that have opened the prospect is that its pathway to higher level qualifications could well reach even further down the age range to students as young as 14. And there’s no intention to stop there.
“The pathway could start in primary school, with advanced manufacturing concepts taught to secondary school students” says director of training Alison Bettac.
Schools are likely to be regular visitors to the new training centre which is planning to create a series of educational ‘pods’ outside its manufacturing cells explaining just what is going on from manual machining to hi-tech computer controlled equipment.
The training centre, which has been built and equipped with the help of funding from the Regional Growth and European Regional Development Funds, with training paid for by the Skills Funding Agency, is also planning to reach parents.
Next month will see two evening get-togethers at the AMRC for the 160 apprentices who are starting their training there in October, their parents, employers and trainers.
“I don’t think there is an awareness among pupils of the sort of skill shortages there are, because there is no real careers advice in schools and they are not made aware of the current state of play in industry,” Alison adds.