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Committee visits Sheffield as part of its inquiry into apprenticeships

6 March 2012

The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee has made public the itinerary for its visit to Sheffield (Monday 5 March – Tuesday 6 March) which will form part of its major inquiry into apprenticeships.

During the visit, Members of the cross-party committee - which is tasked with scrutinising the work of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills -will undertake visits to Forgemasters and the University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC). The Committee will also be holding a formal session on Tuesday 6th at the AMRC.

Comments from the Chair

Commenting on the visit, the Chair of the Committee, Adrian Bailey MP, said:

"Dr Adam Posen of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee today made clear that he feels the biggest failure in the UK labour market at the moment is in the area of youth unemployment.
Apprenticeships are a vital tool to address this shortcoming.
Apprenticeships can help equip young people throughout the UK with the skills necessary to drive forward broad and sustained economic growth, spread across a range of sectors and across the entire country.
If the Committee's inquiry is to have the desired effect, we need to look at what is working and where the current structure is falling short, not only for companies running apprenticeship schemes but for apprentices themselves.
Sheffield is home to a number of significant organisations and employers offering innovative and meaningful apprenticeship schemes.
This visit will allow the Committee to gain first-hand experience of how these schemes are operating in practice and takes evidence from a wide range of interested parties."


The schedule of witnesses for the formal evidence session in Sheffield is as follows:


  • Professor Keith Ridgway CBE, Research Director, AMRC
  • John Baragwanath OBE, Projects Director, AMRC,
  • Rt Hon Richard Caborn, Advisor, AMRC


  • Sharon Ward, Group HR Manager, Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd
  • Alison Bettac, Group HR director, Firth Rixson Ltd
  • Vince Middleton, Managing Director, Newburgh Engineering Co Ltd
  • Richard Cook, Production & Personnel Director, AES SEAL plc


  • Peter Flinn, Specialist in high value manufacturing, Technology Strategy Board


  • Apprentices at different stages of their schemes


This session will be held at the Dreamliner Boardroom at the AMRC. The AMRC's address is as follows:

AMRC with Boeing,
Rolls-Royce Factory of the Future,
University of Sheffield,
Advanced Manufacturing Park,
Wallis Way,
S60 5TZ

The session will be open to the public on a first come, first served basis. There is no system for the prior reservation of seats. Members of the public are encouraged to arrive early as they will have to sign in at the AMRC's reception.

Image: iStockphoto