Skills and careers

SMMT is actively involved in supporting its members in the field of education, training, development and careers promotion. SMMT and industry believe that ensuring that the right infrastructure and funding is in place for skills development is vital to the long-term success of the UK automotive industry.

Click through to download the SMMT fact sheet on skills, apprentices and employment in UK automotive.

The automotive sector currently employs over 700,000 people in the UK, in jobs ranging from design, development, manufacturing, retail, and service and repair. The ability for the UK to maintain and continually improve its strong skills base will enable it to remain competitive within a global market.

Government initiatives like Make it in Great Britain and See Inside Manufacturing aim to transform outdated opinions of modern manufacturing, and provide a unique opportunity to get behind the scenes of some of the country’s world-class automotive facilities.

At an evening reception at SMMT this year, senior industry leaders and politicians celebrated the wealth of opportunities open to automotive apprentices and the government and industry-led momentum to guide young people towards a rewarding career within the automotive industry. 31 apprentices from 12 companies attended the event, where they spoke to stakeholders, MPs and the media about their experiences of the wide range of training programmes available across the industry. Watch the video below to hear what they had to say.

SMMT continually communicates and engages with skills providers, funding agencies and government to ensure training and skills provision is accessible, properly funded and suitably targeted.

Ensuring a positive public perception of the UK automotive industry, and raising awareness, is vital to attract the best and brightest talent into the sector, as this will in turn ensure the long-term promise and sustainability of the industry. An example of the work that SMMT are doing in this regard is the See Inside Manufacturing initiative, a collaboration between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Automotive Council. This initiative encourages automotive companies across the UK to open their doors to students, parents and teachers, in order to showcase the breadth of career opportunities that are available in the UK automotive sector.

SMMT works closely with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that skills provision is intrinsically linked with the future technology agenda, helping cement the UK’s position at the forefront of this innovative sector. For example the focus on low carbon technologies has prompted the industry to ensure technicians and those working with products such as electric vehicles, including sales personnel, have the tools and skills to adapt to technological developments, which are driving the automotive industry forward.

SMMT Industry Forum aims to improve manufacturing processes in the UK automotive industry. Forum programmes are practical, shop floor based process improvements activities implemented with a ‘hands on’ approach by a team of high calibre engineers. The Forum is actively involved with SMMT in pursuing skills and training objectives for the industry. It is a partnership that strives for a highly skilled and capable workforce.