The Deputy Prime Minister, The Rt. Hon. Nick Clegg MP, has praised the planned New Apprenticeship Pathways designed by the University of Sheffield AMRC with the support of the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA). Addressing the Future Aerospace Manufacturing Seminar on 8 February in Sheffield.

Nick Clegg said:

“I'm absolutely delighted that Alison Bettac and her team have established this fantastic initiative, which is the first of its kind, to create this tailor-made programme for 250 new apprentices per year, with the cooperation of the Manufacturing Technologies Association.”

The Apprentice Pathways are being developed through the strategic partnership between the University of Sheffield AMRC and the MTA. The initiative will enable MTA members and other sectors to develop their own talent within a structured framework and allow for individual company requirements at the same time.

Nick Clegg added:

“We are consistently as a government looking, as we expand apprenticeships, to make sure that quality goes with quantity. That's not always been the case. One of the most pernicious brakes on our prosperity is the assumption that the only good thing for a young person at the end of their time at school is to go on and do a degree at university.”

"We need to give strategic long-term support to those sectors which have for far too long have been overlooked or taken for granted in the boom years of the City of London, through strategic support and partnerships. What's so uplifting about this sector is the way partnership lies at its very heart. Partnership between politicians, academia and industry. We have the determination to embark on modern industry strategy to deliver long-term sustainable support to key sectors such as aerospace.

It's not about picking winners… we're going from sector to sector asking what in each strategic sector, at a time of limited public money, can we do to provide a long-term commitment and strategic partnership.”

Graham Dewhurst, Director General of the MTA says:

“The Association has been working with the AMRC Training Centre to develop and secure accreditation for an apprenticeship framework aimed at helping young people progress in advanced manufacturing careers where they will need both engineering skills and commercial acumen.

  The trend over the last decade or so for manufacturers to broaden their offering to embrace customer support solutions has created new opportunities that could benefit the UKs advanced manufacturing sector. In this context the apprenticeship framework that is being developed will seek to equip the new generation entering advanced engineering with the skills that they will require.”

Alison Bettac, Director of Training at the AMRC Training Centre says:

“There is an increasing demand on employers to grow their own talent in disciplines which are often hard to fill due to the specific requirements of the role.”

The first year of the Pathway would focus on engineering skills (performing engineering operations and engineering extension classes) but would also introduce elements of business awareness and a foreign language. It would be delivered largely on site at the AMRC Training Centre.

The second and third years would build on the engineering skills with a Level 3 Technical Certificate but also include a Level 3 NVQ in one of a range of business disciplines (such as sales), further language study, and topics such as Import and Export Law, Regulations and International Business Culture.

Throughout the course learners would have access to master class sessions hosted by MTA members. The intention is for the first years intake, including around 25 students from Association members, to start in September 2013.

The lead speaker at the Future Aerospace Manufacturing Seminar on 8 February was Dr Gareth Williams, Vice President - Research & Technology Business Development & Partnerships at Airbus, who spoke on the companys emerging technology requirements. Other eminent speakers from the aerospace manufacturing sector included Tom McLeay from the AMRC Process Monitoring and Control Research Group who presented Prognosis Models for Cutting Process Health Monitoring and Peter Chivers from the National Composites Centre who outlined Emerging Technology Requirements in Composites.

The next event in the MTA seminar programme will be focusing on some of the latest trends in manufacturing and is entitled Physical to Digital. The event will be held in conjunction with the Warwick Manufacturing Group on 23 April 2013 at Warwick University.