The University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre was recognised as ‘the centre of excellence for engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships’ as it was named training partner of the year by industry leaders at the Enginuity Skills Awards.
The awards honour those who are making a difference in engineering and are organised by Enginuity, an employer-led organisation dedicated to improving the skills and productivity of people in the engineering and manufacturing sectors. The AMRC Training Centre, whose state-of-the-art facilities sit on the site of the former Orgreave coking plant in Rotherham, won the Training Partner of the Year category at the national ceremony, beating off tough competition from Skillnet and JTL.
Judges were looking for a training partner that shows passion and has made a big contribution to developing engineering skills. Enginuity heaped praise on the AMRC Training Centre, calling it ‘the centre of excellence for engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships in the Sheffield City Region and beyond’.
Anne Griggs, the AMRC Training Centre’s head of business development and contracts, attended the virtual ceremony. She said the recognition was made ‘even more special’ because the awards are sponsored and selected by industry leaders in engineering. “Our entry for this award was only possible because of the hard work of every member of the team along with our amazing apprentices and supportive employers,” said Anne.
“To be recognised by others in our sector, for the work we do to support the workforce development needs in advanced manufacturing and train the engineers of the future, is a huge honour. “This past year has been extremely challenging for everyone so to have been shortlisted amongst such great organisations and to be selected to receive this award has lifted everyone's spirits and gives us renewed energy for the year ahead.
The ceremony, postponed from last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, took place on March 18 and was hosted by TV journalist Steph McGovern - herself an award-winning engineering apprentice - and broadcast live from the studio of her Channel 4 show, Packed Lunch.
It brought together industry leaders across 13 categories to recognise brilliant apprentices, champions of skills development and innovative engineers tackling society’s biggest challenges. Nominated alongside the training centre was Matt Booth, workshop manager at AMRC Cymru, who was among the finalists in the Large Employer Apprentice of the Year category.
In the Training Partner of the Year category, judges were looking for organisations that demonstrate how they make a significant or innovative contribution to developing manufacturing and engineering skills; they particularly wanted to see a passion for developing engineering skills that ‘change lives, the sector or the world’.
Director of the AMRC Training Centre, Nikki Jones, is thrilled with the win. She said: “It is fantastic recognition of the work we do and the impact we have on individuals, families, industries and our region.
“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. "So much has changed since we were shortlisted for this award in March last year, but what has not changed during the past 12 months is the continuous hard work of all our team. From teachers and trainers, to assessors and the apprentices themselves, they are a credit to us.
”The AMRC Training Centre’s nomination 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.