Apprentice centre to help resolve skills shortage in high technology companies

An exciting and brand new apprenticeship training centre – Oxford Advanced Skills at Culham Science Centre just outside Oxford – is set to help resolve the very real skills shortages that high technology and engineering companies in the city and wider county are experiencing.


The new centre, which will eventually train 125 young people a year, is a joint venture between UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and other major employers.  Leading training provider JTL, has been appointed to manage the centre commencing from September 2016.

Oxford Advanced Skills, under the leadership of project sponsor David Martin – an ex-UKAEA apprentice himself, who conceived the project – will raise the quality and standard of local apprenticeships through employer-led training. The new centre will provide employers in Oxfordshire’s high tech sector with ‘work ready’ trainees, apprentice engineers and laboratory technicians by giving apprentices skills and self-discipline through training in the workplace.

The centre delivers added value by working closely with local companies, enabling them to directly input into the qualification to ensure that the training provides the apprentices that local businesses need. As a not-for-profit endeavour, all funds will be invested to deliver training and to ensure quality.

“With the support of high tech sector companies in the area, Oxford Advanced Skills will help resolve the critical skills shortages we are currently experiencing,” says David Martin, UKAEA’s chief operating officer. “This venture highlights how seriously we take the need for exceptional quality young people making it into the workforce in this area. JTL has huge experience in providing work-based learning across England and Wales. with over 6,000 apprentices currently working towards qualifications with them in the building services engineering sector.”

Jon Graham is JTL’s chief executive: “These are really exciting times for apprentices in the Oxford area. We have been working in Oxfordshire for many years but decided recently that in order to be able to provide the quality of training that young people deserved we needed to launch our own training facilities, which we have done recently with our own premises at Culham. Through the work we do there and what UKAEA has seen, it became obvious that there was an opportunity to expand our remit and join with UKAEA to develop this new facility targeting exceptional young people who are needed by high technology companies including UKAEA operating in Oxford and the Thames Valley.”


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