MINI Plant Swindon opens doors to careers advisers and teachers

05 July 2011 #SMMT News

Careers advisers were invited to see inside the Swindon MINI plant as part of a joint Government-industry drive to showcase careers in manufacturing.

Plant Swindon welcomed teachers and careers advisers from across the county on 29 June to give them a flavour of the wide-ranging apprentice schemes run at the factory.

The ‘See Inside Manufacturing‘ initiative underlines the importance of the automotive sector to the UK economy and its attractiveness as a sector offering exciting career opportunities.

In early June, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG, Dr Norbert Reithofer met with Prime Minister David Cameron and announced that the company is investing a further £500m in its UK manufacturing facilities over the next three years.

The investment, some of which will be will be used to improve production facilities and equipment at Plant Swindon, will help to safeguard over 5,000 jobs across the three plants in its UK MINI production network (Oxford, Hams Hall, near Birmingham, and Swindon). It takes the company’s investment in the UK to more than £1.5 billion since 2000.

Dr Jürgen Hedrich, managing director of MINI Plant Swindon and Plant Oxford, said: “Manufacturing has so much to offer young people as they start their careers and this programme shows the breadth of exciting roles that we have here in Swindon.

“We hope that this visit will inspire the careers advisers and challenge a few misconceptions about what it means to work in manufacturing.”

Visitors were shown the press shop as well as the plant’s sub assembly area. Some of the plant’s current apprentices were also on hand to talk about their experiences and why they chose to join the company’s scheme. The training leads to an NVQ level three qualification and some apprentices will have the opportunity to progress right through to degree level.

Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) said: “The automotive industry provides some of the best quality apprenticeship schemes in manufacturing, so I’m delighted that school heads and careers advisers are going to have the opportunity to see what’s on offer. All four BMW Group UK manufacturing plants opened their doors on 29 June to support this worthwhile initiative and promote the opportunities available for future apprentices.”

There are currently 100 apprentices across the company’s production plants at Oxford, Swindon, Hams Hall, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited in Goodwood.

Apprenticeships last between three and four years and cover a wide range of professional skills from human resources and business administration to electrical maintenance and engineering.

More than 120 careers advisers and head teachers are expected to participate in BMW Group’s See Inside Manufacturing events across all four of its UK production plants.

Click through to find out more about the ‘See Inside Manufacturing‘ initiative on the Automotive Council’s website.

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