New training centre in Oxfordshire

Posted on 08 Nov 2018 and read 467 times
New training centre in OxfordshireThe Oxfordshire Advanced Skills (OAS) training centre, which will equip up to 350 apprentices a year with technical skills needed by the local economy, is taking shape at the Culham Science Centre near Abingdon.

OAS (www.oas.ukea.uk) is a partnership between the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and the Science & Technology Facilities Council, designed to increase the number of trained technicians available to local employers.

Construction of the 3,800m2 OAS centre is under way, and it will welcome its first intake of apprentices in September 2019. OAS Phase 1 has been operational and training apprentices for two years in an existing facility at Culham.

The number of trainees has increased to almost 80, and there are now 16 partner employers on board.

The new building will be able to accommodate many more apprentices, while offering industry-standard equipment covering a wide range of engineering and technology disciplines.

OAS is working with local businesses to ensure that the facilities meet their advanced training needs.

Apprentice training at the new OAS centre (OAS Phase 2) will be provided by the MTC’s Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre, which has a proven track record of teaching not only core engineering skills but also the latest advanced-manufacturing techniques being used in industry.

David Martin, the UKAEA’s chief operating officer, said: “Oxfordshire is one of Europe’s biggest areas for science and technology, and the percentage of the local population employed in these industries is four-times the national average.

"We can only sustain this success if we have more skilled young people coming through, and OAS is a vital part of
this skills pipeline.

“The number of new starters at OAS for 2018 proves that the demand exists for high-quality apprenticeships in the area.

“The employer-led training centre that we are building at Culham will allow us to greatly expand our capacity and provide more local firms with technicians who can go straight into the workplace with the skills the employer needs.”

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