AMRC Training Centre praised for unique skills led university-employer collaboration

The activities of the University of Sheffield’s AMRC Training Centre have been praised in a new report, showing how UK universities and employers are working together to create a new generation of highly skilled workers.

‘Forging Futures: Building higher level skills through university and employer collaboration’, published this week by Universities UK and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, examines how employers and universities are working together to build pathways to the highly skilled jobs crucial to the UK’s economic future.

AMRC Training Centre apprenticesThe joint report shows how employers are working with universities to build these partnerships, tailoring courses to produce individuals with skills needed by their sector.

The report highlights the success of the AMRC Training Centre in creating innovative solutions to often complex customer requirements for skills in the advanced manufacturing sector. It also focuses on how the Training Centre provides the ideal collaborative environment for nurturing tomorrow’s world-class engineers who can thrive and contribute to the future success of industry and the wider economy of the UK.

Professor Keith Ridgeway, co-founder of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, said: “Responding to the business needs of our partner companies at the AMRC we have designed with them a new approach to advanced technical education. What we have here at the AMRC Training Centre is true access – a programme different to what was already available in either further or higher education.

“Our apprentices are already employed whilst having the ability to train to the highest standard in an internationally-leading research centre, fully embedded in an advanced manufacturing culture. They also have access to progression into higher education, with opportunity to graduate with an excellent degree, industrial experience and no debt.”

“The need for such high-quality vocational education and skills is fundamental to the ability of the UK to be internationally competitive in manufacturing and to help rebalance our economy.”

Professor John Coyne, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby and UKCES Commissioner, said: “There is no one-size-fits-all solution for people to gain the skills they need. Work-based courses are an alternative way for young people and experienced workers to gain high-level skills, and from the report its clear there is a lot of great work taking place.

“A quiet revolution is happening in UK universities, but we need more of these university-employer partnerships - and more awareness of work-based routes - so it is a cultural norm to see them as alternatives to the traditional degree.”

The report follows recent findings from the OECD suggesting there are gaps in the employability skills of graduates in the UK, as well as issues with progression through work.

The report notes that both employers and universities benefit from improved collaboration, with businesses getting access to new talent, better productivity and improved competitiveness – both in the UK and globally. For universities, such collaborations allow them to provide relevant and up-to-date courses, diversifying their offer and enhancing employment prospects for their students.

The full Universities UK and UKCES ‘Forging Futures’ report can be read here

The University of Sheffield

With almost 26,000 of the brightest students from around 120 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.
A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

In 2014 it was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education and in the last decade has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.
Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

Additional information

The University of Sheffield

With almost 26,000 of the brightest students from around 120 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

In 2014 it was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education and in the last decade has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.
Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

Contact

For more information, please contact:

Shemina Davis
Media Relations Manager
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 5339
shemina.davis@sheffield.ac.uk