Automotive Industry Gears Up For The Future

The government is working in partnership with the automotive industry to boost skills across the sector and create new routes into automotive careers.

Business secretary Vince Cable unveiled a £30 million fund for the partnership - comprising of £11.3 million of government funding, alongside £2.8 million cash investment and £16.4 million in-kind contributions from industry.

Manufacturers will work together to identify and meet the skills needs for their current and future workforces. Young people will also gain first-hand experience of the industry in action, inspiring future generations of engineers and technicians. This includes creating an industry standard "jobs framework" and identifying job "hot spots", to encourage more young people into automotive manufacturing careers and to deliver clear development pathways to help them to progress. Other initiatives include:

  • Giving 4,500 nine-year-olds an experience of working in the industry through a one day production simulation;
  • Taking on 960 11-16-year-old 'industrial cadets', to develop vital industry skills in team working, communications and problem solving over a six day programme;  
  • Providing a route to work for 225 19+ year olds, with a 15 day programme offering vocational training and simulated work activities designed by their potential future employers. Assessing functional and employability skills will lead to further work experience at a host company, helping young people with little or no workplace experience and vocational skills on a route to possible future apprenticeships.

Existing employees at all levels will also be given the opportunity to strengthen their technical, management and leadership skills. Small and medium-sized enterprises will be supported in gaining access to industry standard skills development. While talented, qualified engineers from other professions, such as the armed forces, will be able to train to apply their knowledge and skills in the automotive industry.

Cable said: "This investment puts our automotive sector in the driving seat to design the skills our manufacturing companies need. There is a risk that without adequate investment in skills, the industry will run into serious skills bottlenecks.

"Through our industrial strategy we are working in partnership with the automotive sector as it goes from strength to strength. We are providing businesses with the confidence to invest, and to create high skilled jobs," he added.


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