Apprentices at the AMRC Training Centre.

AMRC Training Centre embraces National Apprenticeship Week

Apprentices have been queuing up to secure places at the University of Sheffield's AMRC Training Centre and are keen to promote engineering careers to the local community.

The centre is set to exceed recruitment targets when the final group for 2014/15 arrives this month, bringing the total for the preceding 12 months to 250 and raising the number of apprentices in full or part-time training to 410. What’s more, apprentices have been staying on after their courses have finished to learn additional skills.

“A lot have asked to study additional modules – more than we expected,” says AMRC Training Centre Director of Training, Alison Bettac. “We have got 50 staying beyond the standard 26 weeks, which shows companies are buying into this model of training for their apprentices.”

The centre is continuing to raise awareness of the opportunities available in engineering, which, in its case, spans everything from advanced apprenticeships to undergraduate and postgraduate studies and continuing professional development.

Embracing National Apprenticeship Week, which began on Monday, staff have planned an action packed programme of events, with highlights including an ‘Engineer your Future’ event for 60 pupils from schools across the Sheffield City Region, plus a chance for local pupils to meet members of the Bloodhound team.

The centre is also staging its first ever Apprentice Awards Dinner and apprentices will get the chance to meet Yorkshire born David Pitchforth, the managing director Boeing Defence UK, who will deliver the keynote speech.

In addition, the centre is planning a series of ‘Summer Camps’ for pupils from local schools. Alongside this a team of its apprentices will be taking part in the annual Master Cutler’s Challenge, trying to make as much money as they can for charity from an initial £50 investment.

Last year, apprentices succeeded in raising more than £7,000 for the Whirlow Hall Farm Trust and Sheffield Hospitals Charity, the two charities to benefit from the Challenge, which is one of the largest charity fundraising events in the Sheffield region. This year a new team will be aiming to beat that total, as they raise money for the Master Cutler’s nominated charities. These include the Brathay Trust and Help for Heroes.

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