Sir Alex Ferguson visits university’s apprentice training centre

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MANCHESTER United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has never forgotten his days an apprentice tool maker in Glasgow before turning professional as a footballer.

And he showed his support for University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre’s apprenticeship training centre, at Catcliffe, off The Parkway, with a visit on Tuesday.

Sir Alex met apprentices who receiving training with aircraft manufacturer Boeing and saw the site of the multi-million development, which is designed to provide the next generation of world leading engineers. He spoke to more than 200 staff and apprentices about his experiences, before signing items which will be buried in a time capsule.

Sir Alex said: “What we need is businesses to have confidence in young people. Manchester United is the best example of this. We believe in young people and it’s amazing how they can surprise you.

“In 26 years our young players through our academy have made £115m in sales. That’s an investment. My apprenticeship was a fantastic part of my life. I always knew I had something specialist to go back to if football didn’t go well.”

The AMRC training centre is due to be completed in the autumn 2013 and will cater for up to 250 students, aged from 16.