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£13m extension will offer robotics training to apprentices

01 August, 2022

Construction has started on a £13m extension to the Oxfordshire Advanced Skills (OAS) training centre which will be used for new apprenticeship programmes in areas including robotics, data science, cybersecurity, energy storage, power engineering and space. The OAS team is also developing a curriculum for a new automation and controls level 4 apprenticeship programme, which it expects to deliver from September 2023.

The OAS, located at the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s (UKAEA) Culham Science Centre, is a partnership between UKAEA and the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC). The extension is being funded by the Fusion Foundations Programme – a government initiative to enable the delivery of fusion energy by developing infrastructure, facilities and skills in the UK.

“OAS aims to create the next generation of engineering talent and upskill the existing workforce,” says OAS director, David Martin. “It is an exciting time for OAS as we look to build on our success. The new courses will empower UK manufacturers to adopt transformative technology in space and robotics, helping businesses to better compete in the global marketplace.”

The three-year-old facility will be extended by 2,355m2 and will be ready to receive its first apprentices in September 2023, creating career-making opportunities for an 90 more apprentices in addition to the current 175. The apprentices will be drawn from a wide range of manufacturing and engineering companies including Williams F1 and Presto Engineering.

The £13m extension to the Oxfordshire Advanced Skills facility will offer training in robotics and automation amongst other disciplines

“We’re committed to working collaboratively with our employer partners to identify the skills gaps that are challenging their current and future business operations,” says Emma Johnstone, OAS operations manager for the training provider, MTC Training.

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