Steel city is leading the way on skills

Richard Caborn
Richard Caborn
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SHEFFIELD leading the world again?

Of course. Why would we expect any less?

Blowing the trumpet for his home city as ever is Richard Caborn, who The Diary caught up with at a Hallam University graduation ceremony – a mate of his was receiving an honorary degree.

Caborn is a big fan of, and a driving force behind, a Sheffield universities-backed training initiative that will offer youngsters the chance to go in as an apprentice and come out with a doctorate.

An initiative that has just won £18 million-plus worth of approval, the Diary can reveal.

The Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Institute has won backing for a new training centre aimed at closing the skills gap for high-value manufacturing companies.

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills has awarded £9.2 million from the Regional Growth Fund to be matched by European funding.

That’s a lot of training for a lot of youngsters. Former Firth Brown shop steward Caborn is delighted.

“This is a huge boost to Sheffield which allows young people to go in to engineering as apprentices and come out with a masters degree or a doctorate,” said the former Sports minister and Sheffield central MP waiting.

“We are looking at getting 200 full-time apprentices a year into the scheme.”

Both Hallam University and the University of Sheffield are part of the scheme and apprentices would graduate on to courses depending on discipline. The qualifications will be endorsed by leading Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre sponsors Rolls Royce, BAE Systems and Boeing.

“Forgemasters and Davy Markham are also on board and this is Sheffield leading the way in apprentice training, raising the bar and bringing real quality to training,” added Caborn.

“This is helping the city to continue developing as a major force in high value manufacturing.

“We hope to have the first apprentices in place by the spring of 2013.”