A group of Sheffield students has been shown what it takes to become an engineer in a manufacturing camp run by the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre.
Thirty teenagers, who are each studying engineering at UTC Sheffield City Centre, took part in the week-long course which introduced them to life as an apprentice engineer and the apprenticeship pathways open to them. The camp coincided with British Science Week, which runs from March 6-15.
The five days of activities started with tours of the AMRC Training Centre and the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) where the students were shown the AMRC’s capabilities in robotics and automation, machining and design.
Elliot Hunt, 17, said: “I want to do an apprenticeship at the AMRC Training Centre so it has been really good to be able come here, spend some time looking at the facilities and seeing what the training centre has to offer.”
The budding young engineers were also given lessons in robot programming, virtual reality (VR) and set an engineering task by the AMRC’s STEM and Outreach Team. The AMRC Training Centre Manufacturing Camp ended with presentations on advanced apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships offered by the AMRC Training Centre.
“Trying the VR welding demonstrator has been the highlight for me,” said Tom Atkinson, 16. “I didn’t know a lot about the AMRC before, but I have learned a lot this week.
“I know I want to do an apprenticeship, but I don’t yet know where I want to do it, so it has been really useful to see what the training centre is all about.”
Jack Forrest, the AMRC’s STEM and Outreach Coordinator, said: “We wanted to give the students a real engineering experience and help them understand the life of an engineer so the task we set them was to create a 3D, paper model of the London Eye.
“There were strict time limits, design constraints and they needed to work as a team; exactly the challenges they will find in their careers as an engineer. Each one rose to the challenge, which was fantastic to see.”
Principal of UTC Sheffield City Centre, Alex Reynolds, said: “Our employer backed curriculum ensures our students get the high level technical skills that the engineering industry needs and progress onto great careers. We are delighted that the AMRC is supporting our students with apprenticeship opportunities.”
At UTC Sheffield City Centre, which is based on Matilda Street, and is Ofsted graded ‘good’, students can specialise in engineering and advanced manufacturing or creative and digital media. Learners work on employer-led projects and complete technical qualifications as well as GCSEs and A Levels.
Skills Manager at the AMRC Training Centre, Gareth Wilkinson, said: “The aim of the manufacturing camp is to give the students an understanding of the work of an engineer and help them take their first steps towards an engineering apprenticeship.
“We want each student to appreciate what is involved in an apprenticeship but also, crucially, how to apply the personal and social skills required in the workplace. I hope that is what they took away from their week with us.”