The University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre is in the running for a top honour after being named on the shortlist for the prestigious Enginuity Skills Awards 2020.

The AMRC Training Centre in Rotherham is a contender for the Training Partner of the Year Award while Matt Booth, workshop manager at AMRC Cymru, is among the finalists in the Large Employer Apprentice of the Year category.

Enginuity is an employer-led organisation dedicated to improving the skills and productivity of people in the engineering and manufacturing sectors.

In the Training Partner of the Year Award category the judging panel wanted organisations to demonstrate how they had made a significant or innovative contribution to developing manufacturing and engineering skills; particularly they wanted to see a passion for developing engineering skills that change lives, the sector or the world.

The AMRC Training Centre’s application highlighted the state-of-the-art facilities available to apprentices and trainers’ innovative approach to the delivery of advanced manufacturing apprenticeships, with a curriculum designed with employers in mind. In 2019, the first cohort of apprentices graduated with degrees from the University of Sheffield and there was a renewed focus on attracting underrepresented groups into engineering with the expansion of the Primary Engineer programme, appointment of new STEM ambassadors and creation of the #AMRCtribe campaign.

Director of the AMRC Training Centre, Nikki Jones, said: “It is a real honour to be nominated at the Enginuity Skills Awards and amongst such illustrious company.”

“We pride ourselves on giving our apprentices the best possible opportunity to learn and we are committed to offering them a curriculum that fits the requirements of employers as well. Being on the shortlist is testament to the hard work of all our team, from teachers and trainers, to assessors and the apprentices themselves.”

For the Large Employer Apprentice of the Year Award, judges looked for the best apprentice from a business of over 250 people who was an example of the opportunities apprenticeships can open. Additionally they wanted evidence of excellent manufacturing or engineering skills that have a real impact on their employer’s business.

Matt started his engineering career in 1997 as an apprentice toolmaker at a fine blanking company. A move into injection moulding then led to an aerospace career at Electroimpact UK, where he was inspired to start a new apprenticeship with Coleg Cambria in northern Wales. It was also with this college that Matt became the first person in the UK to do the new Level 4 Enginuity Master Craftsperson qualification.

“I put myself forward for this award as I wanted to show people that you’re never too old to learn new skills and knowledge,” said Matt. “I started my first apprenticeship in 1997 and more than 20 years later I’m still looking for ways to better myself.”

Andy Silcox, AMRC Cymru Research Director, said: “We’re extremely proud to say our workshop manager is the first engineer in the country to be awarded the Enginuity Master Craftsperson qualification.

“Matt’s technical skills are clearly evident but his journey to achieve his qualification has given him a real appreciation of what young engineers need to develop and so he has quickly become an invaluable mentor to our recent graduate intake.”

Also shortlisted for the Training Partner of the Year Award are JTL and Skillnet. Matt Booth is nominated alongside Raisa Matadar (Jaguar Land Rover), Alexander Moody (Siemens Mobility Ltd) and Samuel Thomas Garner (Perkins Engines Company Ltd) for the Large Employer Apprentice of the Year Award.

The winners of 14 awards categories will be announced at a ceremony at London’s Northumberland Avenue.

Their annual awards are due to be held in the autumn, but no date has been set.