Construction work to expand Oxfordshire Advanced Skills and launch new apprenticeship programmes in space, robotics, data science, and cyber security started at a celebratory ceremony.

The training centre’s £13m extension at the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s Culham Science Centre is funded by the Fusion Foundations Programme. This is a government initiative to enable the delivery of fusion, which has great potential to provide sustainable energy for generations to come, through the development of infrastructure, facilities, and skills in the UK.

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The ceremony last month included OAS apprentices, who represent a total population of around 175 current learners employed by manufacturing companies across industries from motorsport to pharmaceuticals, maritime and fusion.

They were joined by representatives from UKAEA, training provider MTC Training and construction partner McLaughlin & Harvey. OxLEP also attended the ceremony and has awarded OAS a grant to fund specialist equipment.

David Martin, UKAEA’s Director of OAS, said: “It is an exciting time for OAS as we look to build on our success of equipping the local community and employers with the skills needed to drive fusion energy and adjacent sectors forward.

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“OAS aims to create the next generation of engineering talent and upskill the existing workforce. The new courses will empower UK manufacturers to adopt transformative technology in space and robotics, helping businesses to better compete in the global marketplace.”

A group of apprentices joined the ceremony including: Harvey Black (UKAEA), Tommy Illingworth (Presto Engineering), Phoebe Wales (Williams F1), Sam Spencer (STFC), Jodi Bain (Owen Mumford) and Rhys Dawes (Williams Jet Tenders).

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

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