BUSINESS MOGUL: Sajid Javid is pictured with young apprentices during a visit to the University of Sheffield
Business Secretary praises new degree apprenticeships
On Thursday 19th May, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Sajid Javid, visited the University of Sheffield’s Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) in Rotherham to meet with young apprentices.
The AMRC Training Centre has introduced a new Foundation Degree in Manufacturing Technology, developed with employers, that aims to provide young people with the skills for the future, while in employment and avoiding major debt.
Mr Javid praised the new degree and said: “We introduced degree apprenticeships so that young people across the country have a real alternative to a traditional university degree, while helping UK businesses develop the skills they need to grow.”
He continued: “For too long, ambitious school leavers have been told that university was their only option, but that isn’t the case anymore.
“Top class apprenticeships that include degrees like those being offered at the University of Sheffield mean our young people have a choice about their future.”
The University is already one of the first in higher education to offer quality advanced manufacturing Foundation, Undergraduate and Master’s degrees using the apprenticeship model, jointly funded with businesses.
PROTECTIVE GOGGLES ON: Sajid Javid is pictured with Andrew Storer, Managing Director of the Nuclear AMRC
Professor Keith Ridgway, Executive Dean of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) said: “To compete in a global economy, it is essential that our engineers of the future have a wide range of generic skills in addition to core engineering competencies.
“This course ensures students gain a balanced knowledge and understanding in the context of engineering manufacture with the right mix of academic and vocational learning.”
The Business Secretary made his comments during a visit which included learning more about the research taking place into the development of small modular reactors.
Small modular reactors are compact nuclear power plants which could play a vital role in the UK energy market.
British car manufacturer Lotus has secured a £10 million government grant, which will see the firm create more than 300 new jobs.
The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) has awarded the automotive firm £10.44 million, which will be used for research and development of products, along with staff training. In addition Lotus is expected to create 313 new full time jobs to support production over the coming years.
Business Secretary, Vince Cable MP visited Lotus’ Norfolk headquarters on 25th November 2013, where he toured the engineering and factory facilities and formally announced the grant to Lotus management.
The grant is a further boost for Lotus, following a £100 million investment by its owners DRB-HICOM, which has allowed the company to enhance its engineering, productivity, efficiency and quality. Lotus is also recruiting for more than 130 new jobs, previously announced in July 2013.
VISIT: Business Secretary, Vince Cable MP attended British car manufacturer Lotus’ Norfolk headquarters
The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is a flexible and competitive £3.2 billion fund operating across England from 2011 to 2017. It supports projects that are using private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.
Aslam Farikullah, Chief Operating Officer at Lotus, said: “This grant is part of a wider strategy for Lotus created to ensure we thrive and grow. We are responding to increased global demand for our cars and engineering consultancy services and this grant will help to position Lotus at the forefront of global automotive innovation.
“We have very exciting plans for our sports cars and it’s a very positive move for Lotus that we’re in a position to create new jobs and to significantly contribute to Britain’s automotive industry.
“The team here at Lotus have worked very hard to secure this grant and every employee is playing their part in the stability, growth and future success of our company.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Lotus is an iconic British car maker, with some of the most innovative engineers in the business. The car industry is one of Britain's great success stories, employing over 130,000 people and helping to build a stronger economy by contributing £11 billion a year. The Government's industrial strategy is working and giving business the confidence to invest, creating more high skilled, long term jobs in the UK.
“I am pleased to announce that our flagship economic plan to create jobs outside of London - the regional growth fund - is awarding Lotus a £10 million grant which will help them develop their next generation of cars and create over 300 new jobs in East Anglia.
“The Government has already supported over 400 projects with £2.6 billion from the Regional Growth Fund, promoting growth in regions across England. The latest round is still open for another two weeks and I'd urge all businesses with a plan to support jobs in their local areas to apply."
NEW: Business secretary Vince Cable also announced £1.5 million for a project that will test driverless cars in a pedestrianised area for the first time
Companies are being challenged to come up with engine technologies that will make our cars more energy efficient and ultimately change the way we drive, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced this week.
The £75 million fund will enable businesses to make and test low carbon technologies that will keep the UK at the forefront of engine design and help safeguard up to 30,000 jobs in engine production.
They will be the pilot projects of the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), which was announced in July, and will channel £1 billion investment from government and industry to fund the development of new technologies over the next ten years.
During a visit to Northampton on Thursday November 7th, Vince Cable also announced £1.5 million for a project that will test driverless cars in a pedestrianised area for the first time.
The ‘pods’ will be able to carry two people and will be run on designated pathways in Milton Keynes city centre.
FUTURISTIC: £75 million allocated for developing low carbon tecnologies
It is planned that in 2015, an initial batch of 20 pods will be driver-operated and will run on lanes separated from pedestrians. By mid 2017, 100 pods that are fully autonomous will be running on pathways alongside people and will use sensors to avoid obstacles.
The early collaborators on the project are engineering consultancy firm Arup, Transport Systems Catapult, The Automotive Council, and Cambridge and Oxford Universities.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “By 2050, very few - if any - new cars will be powered solely by the traditional internal combustion engines, so it is important that the UK car industry is at the cutting edge of low carbon technologies. The Advanced Propulsion Centre, launched as part of our Industrial Strategy, will help to position the UK as a leading innovator while securing jobs and strengthening supply chains.
“Driverless cars are another invention that has the potential to generate the kind of high-skilled jobs we want Britain to be famous for, as well as cutting congestion and pollution and improving road safety.
”The car industry has gone from strength to strength – with one vehicle rolling off a production line somewhere in the UK every 20 seconds. But we must look at the long-term challenges and opportunities to ensure the sector continues to succeed and grow.”
John Miles, Programme Director and Arup Consultant, said: “With the continually increasing number of people living in cities, city authorities are facing some real challenges with regards to ensuring future levels of mobility. This project has the potential to deliver a truly autonomous low carbon transport option within the context of a city centre and we’re delighted to be using this funding to take the project into the first stages of design.”
The competition to find the pilot projects for the APC will be run by the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board.
During his visit to Northampton, the Business Secretary visited the Silverstone racetrack where he was given a tour of the University Technical College. The visit coincided with Tomorrow’s Engineers Week – a campaign to promote the benefits of a career in engineering to young people across the country, particularly young women. The automotive industry is expected to recruit graduates over the next 5 years. He also visited engineering company Cosworth as it announced plans to open a new facility to manufacture components for some of the world’s most advanced
The announcements came on the day the Deputy Prime Minister challenged industry and experts to put forward innovative ways to invest £500m to encourage more people to choose vehicles with the lowest possible emissions.
In June the government announced that money would be made available to support electric cars and other vehicles that produce almost no carbon as part of its strategy to create jobs and boost economic growth, as well as tackling climate change and air quality issues.