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Do you have an engineering or production challenge you want to explore with a fresh set of eyes, but don’t have the bandwidth or capability to do it in-house?

Could you help to enrich the training of some of Oxfordshire’s most committed apprentices under the expert guidance of the Manufacturing Technology Centre?

To support and enrich the expanding training and apprenticeship programme offered through Oxfordshire Advanced Skills, the Manufacturing Technology Centre will be coming to the Culham Science Centre and, as part of this, we are asking for submissions on specific research projects that you would like our apprentices to undertake.

These can either be done on a group or individual basis and, depending on the nature of the projects, can be included as part of the syllabus or within our apprentices’ own personal development time.

Each project will be assigned a research engineer mentor from the
Manufacturing Technology Centre and an OAS trainer. The teams will have access to workshop space and equipment from both the OAS and MTC.

Here are some examples of the type of projects we are looking for:

  • A fast-start/fast-fail project – kickstart a piece of exploration ahead of an intended larger engineering or production research project to see if it is worth further R&D investment.
  • An early-stage product or concept which requires a CAD design and/or physical representation to be fabricated. 
  • Creation of a demonstrator or materials to communicate a challenge to a particular target group.
  • Testing of a material’s or component’s properties and suitability.

The apprentices undertaking the projects will be training towards their Level 3 Engineering Technician Apprenticeship standard or Level 4 Advanced Engineering Manufacturing Technician standard, and will be working for one of a number of technology-based employers.

You will have the chance to interact with the apprentices during the project. Depending on the type of project, you will receive a written report and/or presentation on the findings, which will include any recommendations on how the research can be taken forward or expanded. To find out more, please contact us using the details below.

If you decide to go ahead, there is a straightforward form for you to describe the nature and purpose of the project. We will then come back to you to confirm if your project is suited, and agree the timescales over which the project will be undertaken.

There will be a charge for undertaking the projects. This cost will cover the management of the project, mentoring and the use of the facilities. A quotation will be provided on confirmation and before any project work commences.

For more information, please contact:

Chris Dunkley

Deputy Director – MTC Oxfordshire Cluster

Frequently Asked Questions

What courses will the apprentices and trainees be undertaking?

The projects would link to both Level 3 and Level 4 Apprenticeships as well as HND mechanical and electrical courses.

How are the projects likely to be delivered?

Depending on the complexity, the topic and the range of skills required, apprentices will either do the projects in small groups or as individuals.

Projects can be delivered as part of the curriculum or outside formal training hours.

As well as a trainer, the team will be assigned an MTC research engineer to support and mentor them through the life of the project.

Are there any specific technologies or themes that you would particularly like to encourage projects in?

We are open to any suggestions, but we are well set up for projects linked to CAD and 3D printing/Additive Manufacturing, materials research (including testing) and the machining and micro manufacturing of components.