Former apprentice and motorsport legend opens new OAS training centre

Motorsport legend and former apprentice, Ross Brawn OBE has officially opened the new Oxfordshire Advanced Skills (OAS) Training Centre, which is run by the Manufacturing Technology Centre, on the UKAEA Culham site in Oxfordshire.

Managing director of the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre Paul Rowlett, OAS director David Martin, engineering apprentices Rebecca Marsh and Ella Quigley, and F1 managing director of Motor Sports, Ross Brawn

Coventry-based MTC Apprenticeships has been procured by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to provide industry leading training to hundreds of apprentices in the new centre at Oxfordshire Advanced Skills.

Ross Brawn, who is currently managing director of Formula 1 Motor Sports division, began his career as an apprentice with the UK Atomic Energy Authority.

On the new facility and the launch, Ross Brawn commented, “I am truly delighted to be present at the opening of Oxfordshire Advanced Skills and back where it all began for me as a young apprentice at the UK Atomic Energy Authority.

“My time here provided me with the skills and experience I needed to go out into the wider engineering world and laid the foundation for the career path I have pursued. Apprentices are our next generation of designers, engineers and global problem solvers and the importance of advanced skills training and this facility in the modern world has never been so important.”

OAS aims to develop the next generation of engineers to support the future skills needs of businesses across Oxfordshire, the Thames Valley and the surrounding area – one of the UK’s high-tech hotspots.

David Martin, director of Oxfordshire Advanced Skills, said, “The vision was an employer-led skills hub that would provide high quality training contextualised by being delivered in the workplace, but OAS is so much more than that. We have created something very special here that has the potential to impact careers and business performance for decades to come.”

Work has completed on the new 3,800 sq metre training centre at UKAEA Culham with the first cohort of apprentices starting their journey in September this year. Using some of the UK’s most advanced equipment, it will provide more than 350 apprentices a year with sought after technical skills for the local economy and the fundamentals they need to succeed in their future careers. The centre is looking to recruit 100 apprentices to start in September 2020.

Training at the new facility is being delivered by MTC Apprenticeships, replicating the industry-leading tuition provided at the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre (AMTC) on the MTC campus at Ansty Park, Coventry. The AMTC has built a rapid reputation for equipping apprentices not only with core engineering skills but also the latest advanced manufacturing techniques.

The new centre is furnished with industry-standard equipment covering a wide range of engineering and technology disciplines.

Paul Rowlett, managing director of the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre, said: “The opening of the new OAS Training Centre is a culmination of more than a year’s hard work, but it is only the start of our partnership with UKAEA and STFC that will see us deliver the OAS training programme. The new building has allowed us to create a programme that will seed the next generation of engineers for high value technology businesses within the region and address the current skills shortage.”

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