Today I had an illuminating visit to the AMP in Waverley in a tour with fellow elected members.
Getting a more in in-depth brief on the history, scope and vision of the park was truly eye opening and I am really proud in the knowledge that we have the UK’s premier advanced manufacturing technology park in our town of Rotherham!
It really is a lasting legacy to the region and fantastic use of the former open cast mine site that so easily could have been resigned to one more forlorn South Yorkshire brownfield site were it not the original vision back in 2005.
There are over 40 companies currently on site and the remit is pretty amazing; aerospace and automotive engineering, energy, biomedical engineering, oil and gas, defense, sports and construction to name a few. The site caters from the incubation period with support for start ups and small business right through to established giants of industry such as Boeing and Rolls Royce.
We had a walkaround the shop floor at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, where there was a strictly no photos policy however Cllr Wilson and I were allowed this sneaky shot from up on the walkway.
The latest company to announce arrival was of course supercar manufacturer McLaren, whom are building a £50m chassis factory on site creating 200 jobs. They’ve committed to creating apprenticeships immediately also.
Speaking of apprenticeships next we were shown around the AMRC training centre – working home of the 100+ apprentices. It has been said that the governments modern apprenticeship offer is not always substantial and that there is a risk that some apprentices aren’t getting quality placements.
I am glad to say that is definitely not the case here at the AMRC! All the apprentices have robust routes for progression to higher qualifications, including the BEng and are taken seriously and are valued by their sponsoring employers from day 1. Having been shown round the shopfloor and seen the different production cells and machinery as well as classrooms and labs, I came away very impressed by the quality of placement and with the support offer from staff.
To finish, I loved this sign made and hung up by the apprentices on the shop floor – British values by Rotherham apprentices: