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New attractions unveiled as leading engineering careers showcase doubles in size

posted 13 Apr 2015, 04:44 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 13 Apr 2015, 04:45 ]

A pioneering employability and work experience programme is doubling the size of its annual event designed to attract more young people into engineering.

Get Up To Speed is organised by the Sheffield-based work-wise Foundation and is already believed to be the biggest event of its kind in Yorkshire.

This year, the highly interactive event, which takes place on Wednesday April 22, moves to the Magna Science Adventure Centre, which means there will be more space than ever before for showcasing the excitement and opportunities in the engineering and technology sectors.

More than 1,250 young people aged 10 to 25 – from primary school to university - have already booked places at the event.

Many are taking part in trips to the event organised by more than 35 school and colleges, including schools from Derbyshire, West Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, while others are coming on their own or with parents to the early evening sessions.

Attractions will include a collection of simulators, showing school children what it’s like to drive a Formula One car or racing motorcycle, tackle a down hill sled run and a cycle race or train to compete in a canoe.

Doubling the space also means Get Up To Speed will also be able to display the ‘Spirit of Goole’ aircraft, which is being built by students and volunteers at Robin Hood Airport – the first time a full sized aircraft has been on show at the event.

A new generation of android robots and quad copters – including one controlled by brain waves – will be demonstrated and activities will include two construction challenges, one of which involves building remote controlled models from Lego.

Single seaters, built at local universities and raced as part of the annual ‘Formula Student’ competition, will be on display, along with a Formula 3 racing car and a rally car.

Around 40 companies and training organisations will be exhibiting at Get Up To Speed, telling young people, teachers and parents who come to the evening sessions, about opportunities to work in cutting edge industries.

Headline sponsors of Get Up To Speed are The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and Tata Steel.

IMechE Yorkshire chairman, Steve Wainwright, said: “We have a proud manufacturing heritage in the Yorkshire region and still lead the world in many areas of manufacturing and engineering technology.

“Get Up To Speed will re-assure young people that manufacturing is alive and kicking in the region, tell them about the wide variety of careers available and help to create a new wave of engineering talent that will go some way to plugging the skills gaps we face.”

Mick Hood, HR director for Tata Steel’s South Yorkshire-based speciality steels business, added: “Tata Steel has supported Get Up To Speed since its inception and continues to see the event as an important way of raising awareness among young people, teachers and parents of the exciting opportunities on offer to those who choose an engineering or science-based career.”

£30m cash boost for Sheffield City Region is a ‘step in the right direction’

posted 30 Jan 2015, 06:02 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 3 Mar 2015, 08:06 ]

Local leaders from the public and private sector have secured a £30m cash boost for Sheffield City Region. This is in addition to £320m secured from Government last year, which will help the Sheffield City Region to deliver its vision of creating 70,000 jobs over the next decade.
This top-up from Government makes Sheffield City Region’s total Growth Deal the fifth most substantial deal made with any City Region in England.
This extra funding will:
Go towards building new training facilities, including plans for a Rail Engineering Campus in Doncaster.

Enable the LEP to extend its highly successful business investment and support programme and create 4,400 new jobs for local people

Support a programme of investment in sustainable transport projects which could include cycle lanes, bus lanes, tram rail line replacement and other measures to make it easier and cheaper for people to get to work

Be invested in ready-to-go sites to help meet unmet demand from businesses wanting to set up quickly on Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone

Support infrastructure work on the Midland Mainline which will mean faster journey times from Sheffield and Chesterfield to London.
Councillor Sir Stephen Houghton CBE, Chairman of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, said: 
“This Deal marks another milestone on our ‘devolution journey’ and builds on our recent Devolution Deal which transferred additional powers and policy levers from Government to our City Region’s decision makers.
“The Deal will need to be approved by Government after the General Election in May but we’re confident that this investment will be considered important by ministers of any political party as it is based on what our economy needs to grow.
“Work is already underway to maximise our funding and create thousands of new jobs and training opportunities for local people. This additional £30 million funding will accelerate and enhance this crucial work.”
James Newman, Chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said:
“This is another step forward in ensuring that our City Region has the powers and funding that we need to grow our economy by growing local businesses and creating good jobs for local people. 
“This important deal is the result of the excellent local partnerships in place across our City Region, particularly between the private sector led LEP Board and the Combined Authority. These strong local partnerships bring together local leaders from local government and from the private sector to make more effective local economic decisions.
“This ‘Growth Deal Round 2’ with Government adds to our £325 million allocation which we secured in the first round of Growth Deals. Once again, we are leading the charge when it comes to getting the powers and funding from Government that local leaders need to boost growth in our private sector.”

Campaign launched to get Sheffield City Region on track for HS2

posted 30 Jan 2015, 05:41 by RiDO Rotherham

HS2 Rotherham
Business bosses and Council leaders are backing a new campaign to maximise the benefits of the high speed rail coming to the Sheffield City Region. 

Under Government plans, the Sheffield City Region will see train journey times to London almost halved and reduced journey times to other key cities across the North of England.

Now the Sheffield City Region’s business community has joined forces with local Councils to give its support to HS2 - and it is urging the wider business community to get behind the plans and get ready for the supply chain opportunities it will bring.

The Ontrack4hs2 Campaign was launched at the 2015 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Business Conference on Thursday 29 January 2015. 

One of only two planned HS2 stations in Yorkshire will be in the Sheffield City Region, with the other hub in Leeds. A Government decision on the station location is expected to be made later this year.

The economic and transport benefits for Sheffield and its surrounding towns and cities will be critical to the City Region’s future success.

James Newman, Chairman of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “HS2 is essential to the North’s future sustainable growth and it will play a major part in the economic success of the Sheffield City Region in particular. It will encourage investment into the City Region and make doing business easier by improving connections between the City Region, the capital and other parts of the UK.

“The project will bring a huge amount of opportunities for local businesses and this campaign aims to make sure that local business leaders are ready to be part of the vast supply chain it will create. The City Region’s global reputation for innovation and advanced manufacturing should give us a significant advantage in gaining new business from these contracts and it is up to local business leaders to make sure we do so by engaging with HS2 and Ontrack4hs2 as soon as possible.

“We believe the huge transport and connectivity benefits HS2 will deliver nationally will have a major impact locally. It’s time for everyone living and working in the City Region to give their support to HS2 - to ensure the area doesn’t miss out on the business opportunities that this once in a generation opportunity will bring.”

In the Sheffield City Region alone, HS2 is forecast to create thousands of jobs. It is also expected to create supply chain opportunities, not least for local firms involved in the rail industry. At present 200 companies in the City Region, employing more than 6,000 people, have a direct connection with the rail industry. 

Ontrack4hs2 is also backing plans to make the Sheffield City Region a centre of excellence for high speed rail engineering. In October 2014, Doncaster was chosen as one of two sites for a High Speed Rail College, set up to ensure the country has the skills and expertise to deliver the HS2 project. 

Simon Carr, LEP Board Member and Managing Director of Henry Boot Construction, added: “The business community in the Sheffield City Region and all our local authorities are united in support of HS2 phase two. Over the next few years as the plans are developed we will be working hard to ensure they reflect the needs and aspirations of the City Region. Our focus will be on obtaining the maximum economic and business benefits from this major infrastructure project.

“Making sure the Sheffield City Region is better connected to London and other cities, such as Birmingham and Leeds,4 has the potential to transform the local economy and help narrow the gap between the north and south.

“It will provide much needed additional capacity on our railways and will ease pressure on other parts of the transport system such as the road network. With rail passenger numbers set to rise in the next few decades, the additional capacity offered by HS2 is essential to ensure the country can continue to meet its transport needs.”

Ben Ruse, lead spokesperson for HS2 Ltd, said: “The Government is due to set out details for HS2 phase two in the coming year, so now is the perfect time to get plans underway. 
“The proposed HS2 hub at the heart of the city region’s road and rail network will give towns and cities across South Yorkshire the high capacity, high speed connections they need to see jobs and businesses thrive.
“Better links to Leeds and further North, and across the Midlands, will give small businesses in the area a competitive edge in reaching new customers and suppliers. Faster links to the South East will allow the region’s unrivalled expertise in logistics and high tech engineering reach new international markets.”

A dedicated micro-site  is now live. The micro-site will feature up-to-date information on the progress of HS2 in the Sheffield City Region, video case studies from ambassadors from the local businesses and details of how the business community can show their support.

Local leaders to discuss economic growth at Business Conference

posted 28 Jan 2015, 01:30 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 28 Jan 2015, 01:30 ]

On Thursday 29 January, the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will hold its 2015 Business Conference.
The Business Conference will bring together business people from across the Sheffield City Region to discuss how to boost economic growth and create jobs in the area.
The Business Conference follows recent news that the LEP has secured a £320 million ‘Growth Deal’ for the Sheffield City Region – the result of significant effort from the local business community.
The LEP is looking to the private sector to play a big part in its plans to maximise the economic impact of the Growth Deal and as the Sheffield City Region seeks greater powers and funding from Government.
James Newman, Chairman of the LEP, said: “The LEP gives local business leaders the opportunity to have more influence over the decisions that impact on our local economy. Our aim is to boost economic growth and create jobs in the Sheffield City Region and our future success depends on the ambition of our private sector to grow and grow.
“We are already working very closely with businesses from across the City Region and this Conference is an opportunity for our local private sector to come together, to take stock of our progress and set out future plans to work together to achieve our vision.”
The Business Conference will include presentations from LEP Board members and other prominent business people in the City Region covering a number of areas of the LEP’s work, including skills training, infrastructure investment, access to finance, European funding and inward investment.
The conference will take place from 9am to 12.30pm at the AMRC Knowledge Transfer Centre, located alongside the AMRC Factory of the Future and Nuclear AMRC on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Sheffield City Region. 
Over 200 people have registered to attend the conference and tickets are still available. Registration is online at

£1.5M Fund Launches for Nuclear Sector

posted 21 Jan 2015, 02:00 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 21 Jan 2015, 02:00 ]

A £1.5m fund has been launched to help English manufacturers enter or expand their presence in the nuclear sector.

Fit For Nuclear (F4N), which was developed by the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) and delivered in partnership with the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), is offering grants of about £10,000 to companies that want to meet industry standards and compete for work in civil nuclear.

"Smaller manufacturers have a vital role to play in civil nuclear, if they can meet the standards demanded by the industry’s top tier," said Mike Tynan, chief executive of the Nuclear AMRC.

"To win work, UK companies need to make sure they have the ability to meet safety, quality and cost standards, and can demonstrate that their specialist capabilities can deliver value to clients."

Manufacturers can apply for F4N funding to support R&D projects to optimise production or develop new processes/products and can also access the Nuclear AMRC's workshop capabilities in welding, metrology and design support. All projects must be completed by 31 March 2016.

Steven Barr, head of MAS, said: "Almost 200 businesses have already embarked on Fit For Nuclear and more than 75% of these have recorded immediate tangible bottom-line benefits.

"This is just the start and the current funding call will look to accelerate the number of companies getting involved. Nuclear is seen as a difficult sector to break into. Yes requirements are different, but it's not as problematic as some people make out."

Any English manufacturer employing ten or more staff and with a turnover in excess of £1.6m can apply for funding.

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