- Vince Cable, Business Secretary, launches scheme to boost UK’s engineering skills.
- JLR pioneers new education scheme to be rolled out by Semta.
- Thousands of UK engineers will be offered Master’s Degree module places.
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) today announced the expansion of its pioneering new education programme aimed at boosting the skills of engineers working in the automotive supply chain and other hi-tech industries.
The Advanced Skills Accreditation Scheme (ASAS) was formally launched by Vince Cable, Business Secretary, at the company’s product development centre in Gaydon, Warwickshire.
This sector-wide skills programme, led by Semta – the sector skills council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies – is supported through government’s Growth and Innovation Fund. Through the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, £1m is being injected to enable the expansion to boost the nation’s high-level engineering skills.
The ASAS education scheme, based on a programme developed by JLR in partnership with leading English universities, offers engineers the chance to develop the engineering skills that they will need to create future world-leading new products and technologies.
Business Secretary, Vince Cable said, “This is the sort of innovative idea that will help address the crippling shortage of trained engineers in the UK. It’s fantastic that JLR sees benefit not just of making itself competitive, but also collaborating across the sector to help make British advanced manufacturing increasingly competitive.
“The best solutions are found when business, universities and government work together and this is an excellent example of partnership working to face future challenges.”
JLR Executive Director, Mike Wright said, “JLR has already begun the largest advanced engineering skills programme in the UK, to help us to deliver our low carbon vehicles of the future. We are planning for more than half of our 6,000 engineers to take part in the programme. If UK companies are going to be able to compete successfully in the future, we need to raise the skill levels throughout the supply chain and UK manufacturing as a whole.”
Lynn Tomkins, Semta’s UK Director of Operations said, “Semta believes that this programme will transform Higher Education opportunities for all employers, particularly small and medium enterprises.
“It is important that employees from all backgrounds with the aptitude to develop skills are given the opportunity, which is why not basing access to master’s level training purely on academic ability makes this programme unique.”
The new scheme is expected to involve engineers from more than 2,000 companies in England taking 5,000 Master’s Degree module places over the next two years.