Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg Champions Manufacturing in Sheffield
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has met UTC students as part of a wider visit to the city, following his announcement of £5 million funding as part of the Sheffield City Regional Growth Deal.
The Sheffield Hallam MP met young people studying engineering, manufacturing and design courses during a tour of the UTC Sheffield, Matilda Street last month.
He was in the city on October 17th to see the prospective site of the new British Glass Academy Building. Launched in 2013 by British Glass, the Sheffield-based trade association for the UK glass manufacturing sector, The Glass Academy is a skills development programme which offers a complete training programme for school leavers through to future industry leaders, providing apprenticeships, bespoke glass sector courses and professional qualifications.
The provision of a dedicated building will enable the British Glass Academy to significantly extend its facilities, to include ‘mini’ factories for training, research and design facilities and a dedicated educational centre.
Mr Clegg visited phase two of Sheffield Business Park, the prospective location of the new building, which is also the site of the University of Sheffield’s proposed new advanced manufacturing research campus.
Mr Clegg said: “After securing investment for the new British Glass Academy and the Universities’ Factory 2050 down in Westminster, it’s hugely satisfying to come back to Sheffield and see shovels starting to go in the ground. Our advanced manufacturing hub is fast becoming the envy of the world and both these new world class developments will only enhance our reputation even further. This can only mean even more investment and jobs for local people.
He added: “Talking to some of the students at Sheffield’s excellent new UTC brings it home just how important it is to carry on building a stronger and more balanced economy. We want to make sure that young people in our area have the best possible chance to gain a good job and get on in life.”
British Glass, through its Glass Academy initiative, has committed to partner with the UTC on leading curriculum projects, interviewing for its apprenticeship programme and offering careers days.
Nick Crew, UTC Sheffield Principal, added: “Working in close collaboration with employers such as The Glass Academy to deliver the curriculum and live projects will help to provide employers with a well-educated and skilled workforce for the future. We were delighted to welcome Nick Clegg to provide him with an insight into the unique opportunities that the UTC offers our students.”
Work on the University’s Factory 2050 has already begun and a masterplan to develop 50 acres of land, secured by the University for a range of advanced manufacturing initiatives, is currently in preparation. Co-locating the Glass Academy at the heart of the Sheffield City Region’s growing advanced manufacturing hub would offer significant opportunities for collaboration and innovation.
Dave Dalton, CEO of British Glass and The Glass Academy, said: “The glass industry is rooted in the work of a Sheffield University department 100 years ago so it’s fitting that the creation of the British Glass Academy world class centre of excellence as the hub of glass training in the UK will be based in Sheffield in collaboration with the University.”