The University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre has become the first provider of its kind to deliver a degree apprenticeship for the level six tool process design engineer standard, which has been developed to meet the direct needs of the members of the Confederation of British Metalforming. 

The new apprenticeship, which sees a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) in Manufacturing Technology delivered as part of the offer, has been created through a collaboration between the AMRC Training Centre and the Confederation of British Metalforming (CBM). It marks the AMRC Training Centre as the first provider of its type to have a validated degree as part of the standard. Vitally, it addresses the skills requirements for toolmakers, which are in extremely short supply.
CBM is the only specialist manufacturers’ organisation for experts in metalforming. Alongside members, CBM had identified a need within the sector to provide such an apprenticeship and approached the training centre for support. 

Louise Cowling, head of degree apprenticeships at the AMRC Training Centre, described the new apprenticeship offer as an ‘exciting move forward’, adding: “We already provide apprenticeships to a number of CBM members in South Yorkshire and we are delighted to be developing our partnership with CBM further. For them to come to us with a need for a new apprenticeship reaffirms the importance that we, as a training provider, must continue to develop our courses on offer to meet the changing needs of industry. 

“At present, there is only one other provider delivering this standard of apprenticeship, but does not include a validated degree, however ours will – which makes this a first of its kind apprenticeship and enables us to provide prospective students with a new and unique offer.

“We are looking forward to getting this new apprenticeship offer off the ground in September.” 

Geraldine Bolton, chief executive of the Confederation of British Metalforming, described this development ‘as a very important step forward in addressing the skills gap in the metal forming industry.  

She added: “The AMRC Training Centre is a highly respected training provider amongst our members and we look forward to working with them and promoting this offer.  As an added bonus, employers can use funds from their Apprenticeship Levy fund to pay for employees to undertake this degree.”
Thanks to the support of CBM, the confederation was part of the trailblazer group that pushed to get the apprenticeship offer approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE). 

The AMRC Training Centre is part of a top 100 elite Russell Group university and the AMRC, a world-leading research and innovation organisation. It also works with more than 460 employers that include titans of industry such as Siemens, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Toyota Motorsport GMBH, McLaren Formula 1 and Airbus, alongside smaller companies which are the lifeblood of UK manufacturing. 

Louise said the AMRC Training Centre is also involved in the trailblazer group, which is looking at refining the new level 3 toolmaker standard after receiving positive feedback from a number of employers expressing an interest.  

The apprenticeship is planned to start at the AMRC Training Centre this September and employers can take advantage of the end-to-end recruitment service the training centre offers to help find the right apprentice for their company, or look to upskill existing members of staff.

Further information about undertaking a degree apprenticeship at the AMRC Training Centre is available via: