Sheffield group looks to reshape how apprentices train

Staff at the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre have unveiled plans to build on their award-winning success.

The centre, which currently provides advanced apprenticeship training for 300 young people, recently won the Times Higher Education Outreach Award by creating a blueprint for bridging the manufacturing skills gap and promoting social mobility at the same time.

It is currently developing foundation degrees that will equip apprentices with the knowledge they need to progress to a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Engineering and has already launched a pathway for apprentices to study mechanical engineering at further and higher education levels.

Now it is planning to spread awareness among employers of the opportunities for apprentices to move on to higher apprenticeships, degrees and post graduate qualifications further.

“Many of the Training Centre apprentices would never have considered, or been able to afford going to university,” said AMRC Training Centre director of training, Alison Bettac.

“We won the Outreach Award because we were the UK leader in developing an alternative route for young people to go to university, without going there straight from school. We have been very pro-active in that area.

“We have raised awareness among young people of the opportunities we offer for them to secure a job, practical, manufacturing skills and an understanding of how industry works, which gives them a sound foundation if they do go on to study for a degree.

“The time has come to further raise the awareness of employers that there is this direct route from an Advanced to a Higher Apprenticeship and on to undergraduate and post graduate qualifications, which will provide both the breadth and depth of knowledge required for a more effective and innovative workforce.”