Brawn, who is currently managing director of Formula One Motor Sports division, began his career as an apprentice with the UK Atomic Energy Authority.
On the new facility and the launch, he said: “I am truly delighted to be present at the opening of OAS and back where it all began for me as a young apprentice at the UK Atomic Energy Authority. My time here provided me with the skills and experience I needed to go into the wider engineering world and laid the foundation for the career path I pursued. Apprentices are our next generation of designers, engineers and global problem-solvers, and the importance of advanced skills training and this facility in the modern world has never been so important.”
OAS aims to develop the next generation of engineers to support the future skills needs of businesses across Oxfordshire, the Thames Valley and surrounding areas.
David Martin, director of Oxfordshire Advanced Skills, said: “The vision was an employer-led skills hub that would provide high-quality training contextualised by being delivered in the workplace, but OAS is so much more than that. We’ve created something very special here that has the potential to impact careers and business performance for decades to come.”
Work has now completed on the 3,800 m2 training centre at UKAEA Culham, with the first cohort of apprentices starting their journey in September this year. Using some of the UK’s most advanced equipment, it will provide more than 350 apprentices a year with sought after technical skills for the local economy and the fundamentals they need to succeed in their future careers. The centre is looking to recruit 100 apprentices to start in September 2020.
Training at the new facility is being delivered by MTC Apprenticeships, replicating the tuition provided at the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre (AMTC) on the MTC campus at Ansty Park, Coventry. The newly opened centre is furnished with industry-standard equipment covering a range of engineering and technology disciplines.
Paul Rowlett, managing director of the AMTC, said: “The opening of the OAS Training Centre is a culmination of more than a year’s hard work, but it is only the start of our partnership with UKAEA and STFC that will see us deliver the OAS training programme. The new building has allowed us to create a programme which will seed the next generation of engineers for high-value technology businesses within the region, and address the current skills shortage.”