“Future Problem Solvers” Held at the AMRC Training Center Awards

The AMRC Training Center at the University of Sheffield has held its apprentice celebration evening.

It is the first time in two years that the trainees, their employers, teachers and proud parents were able to come together in person to recognize their tremendous achievements.

The centre, which has a multi-million dollar facility at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, honored award winners and runners-up from the 2020 and 2021 ceremonies who were unable to hold at the time due to the pandemic.

The evening’s host was Steph McGovern, presenter of Channel 4’s hit TV show Steph’s Packed Lunch, who was an engineering apprentice to the event’s title sponsor, iconic tool maker Stanley Black & Decker. “Starting out as a trainee and now being here to celebrate such a talented group of people and fellow trainees doing what I believe in, it’s such a great and fulfilling career that it’s very special,” said Steph.

“They are literally our future problem solvers and I think what they are doing is the best path to a successful career in the industry. Despite the setbacks from Covid, they have still crushed it and I can guarantee they will have a very rewarding career ahead of them.”

The focus is on students aged 16 and over, undertaking paid internships with opportunities to progress to postgraduate courses.

The event, held on the eve of International Women in Engineering Day, saw Bethany Cousins, a project engineer from the University of Sheffield AMRC, win the Apprentice of the Year award for 2020 and Kate Todd-Davis take the title for 2021. Kate also won “Grade Apprentice of the Year”.

Kate, a manufacturing engineering trainee at global engineering giant Rolls-Royce, recently graduated from the AMRC Training Center with a first-class bachelor’s degree in Manufacturing Technology, having already completed a Level 2 NVQ in Fundamental Engineering and he is now working towards a Level 4 NVQ in engineering and advanced manufacturing, both delivered by the Sunderland Engineering Training Association (SETA).

She summed up her double whammy of wins as “overwhelming, sobering and unexpected”, adding: “Receiving not just one award, but two, is a huge achievement for me and it’s a huge honor that I didn’t expect.

“Being the overall winner is without a doubt the highlight of my career to date and was a huge surprise considering there were so many strong and impressive apps. I hope it makes others consider an apprenticeship, brings more women into engineering.” and remove the stigma that comes with it.”


Michelle White, Apprentice Development Leader at Rolls-Royce, said Kate is “someone to watch”, adding: “I am so proud of Kate’s achievements and as her apprenticeship is coming to an end I think now It is the moment when you really fly within the company.

“She is destined for great things and I hope she continues to be a strong female ambassador for engineering and show that anything can be achieved in a male-dominated industry.”

The new Mayor of South Yorkshire, Oliver Coppard, who has been in his new role for just eight weeks, was delighted to be at the event and highlighted the emerging talent in the room as the change makers the world needs.

He said: “Sheffield is my home, I was born and raised here. I know that the talent we have in this region is up to any industrial challenge we may have to overcome.

“We have a wide range of exciting and innovative companies in South Yorkshire, and the apprentices here are the future leaders of their businesses. Your talent will change the region and change the world. They are the ones that will take us to net zero.”

Nikki Jones, Director of the AMRC Training Center, praised the trainees for their passion, adding, “Seeing our trainees on stage filled me with pride and reminded me why I chose to work for the AMRC Training Center – they are who do this.” literally the best job in the world.

“As a team, we are committed to continuing our efforts to empower these people to be the best versions of themselves and help them become our engineers of tomorrow. Without them, none of us would be here at this celebration event and I would like to congratulate each and every one of them for their hard work, dedication and commitment.”

Professor Koen Lamberts, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “We are very proud of our trainees and I am delighted that we can finally celebrate their achievements in person. They have an extraordinary impact on their employers, in many cases by improving processes, making them more sustainable, or finding new and innovative ways of doing things that save time and money.

“They are an important part of our University and we are pleased to provide the highest quality academic and vocational education.”

This year’s festivities follow a virtual award ceremony held in December, announced by AMRC Nuclear researcher and Great British Bake Off winner Dr Rahul Mandal, who also attended the event in person.

Now in its seventh year, the awards are a firm favorite on the AMRC Training Center calendar and spotlight both trainees and their employers, who together are brave and bold, breaking the mold to innovate, inspire and impact the way in which the industry in the UK continues to evolve.

AMRC Training Center Website

Images: AMRC Training

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