Funding boost puts automotive skills on track

1 min read

The government is collaborating with automotive manufacturers to ensure skills across the sector by inspiring the next generation of vehicle makers and creating new routes into automotive careers.

To move the initiative forward business secretary Vince Cable has announced £11.3m of government funding alongside a £2.8m investment and £16.4m in-kind contributions from industry.

The project, developed through the Automotive Council’s Business Environment and Skills Group, brings together automotive businesses to ensure future skills needs are met for UK vehicle manufacturers and supply chain companies. It follows a successful bid from the group for funding through the government’s Employer Ownership Pilot, a £340m competitive fund that invited employers to tell the government how they would better use public investment, alongside their own, to invest in the skills.

In a statement, business secretary Vince Cable said: ‘Employment in the automotive industry is set to grow in the coming years, with multi-billion pound investments taking hold and production volumes on course for record levels.

‘With developments such as connectivity and advanced manufacturing taking the sector into exciting new territory, recruitment is a major challenge facing the industry.’

Companies including Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Ford, General Motors, GKN, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and Toyota will work together with the government, SEMTA and SMMT through the Automotive Council to advance workforce skills.

According to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) this will include creating an industry standard jobs framework and identifying so-called employment hot spots to encourage more young people into automotive manufacturing careers.

Existing employees will also benefit from industry collaboration to strengthen their technical, management and leadership skills. Small and medium-sized enterprises will be supported in gaining access to industry standard skills development whilst 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.

Further 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 to 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 plus 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

Source: BIS