SMMT International Automotive Summit – attracting talent is critical to long-term industry success

16 March 2012 #SMMT News

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has today announced a panel for its annual Summit featuring some of the largest recruiters in the automotive industry. Chaired by renowned industry figure Richard Parry-Jones, the panel will deliver their views as to why UK automotive must attract the brightest and best talent to safeguard its long-term success. It forms a key session of the day-long stream Growth in the supply chain, supported by KPMG LLP, at the fourth SMMT International Automotive Summit, to be held at Clifford Chance, Canary Wharf, on the 12 June.

“Automotive manufacturing is one of the most vibrant and dynamic parts of the UK economy with strong future growth prospects throughout the sector,” said, John Leech, Automotive Partner, KPMG LLP. “The UK supply chain is in a position to benefit from recent investment but as international competition intensifies, getting a firm grip on key issues such as investment and skills will be crucial to longer term success.”

UK automotive provided over 14,000 new apprenticeships last year and is a global leader in manufacturing innovation, the key session Bridging the skills gap will focus on why attracting the brightest and best talent is critical to long-term success.

On the expert panel, Christine Gaskell, MBE, Member of Board, Personnel from Bentley Motors will share her wealth of experience and stress the importance of raising the bar on standards within apprenticeship schemes, vocational training, and the need to promote the diversified, challenging and rewarding nature of employment within a thriving UK automotive manufacturing sector.

Nick Pascoe, Chief Executive of Control Power Technologies will reiterate the need for up-skilling across manufacturing and the supply chain and share the immediate challenge faced by his company as it attempts to recruit a number of engineers and the concern he now has that a shortage of skills at home may force the company to bring in engineering talent from outside the UK.

Phil Millward, HR Director, GM, will describe the challenges of fostering the best engineering stars of tomorrow, how to bridge the skills gap through graduate programmes and the continued training needs of an evolving workforce through leadership development.

Government has recognised the contribution to manufacturing made by the UK automotive sector and the need to draw in youthful talent when last year it announced the automotive industry would pilot the very first ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ initiative supported by Automotive Council. Over forty companies took part in the scheme that invited young people and careers advisors to catch a glimpse of what it would be like to work inside this vibrant industry. Survey responses proved extremely positive and ‘See Inside’ returns with plans for a range of exciting activities throughout June this year.

Along with opening keynote speeches from Ian Robertson, BMW Board Member, Global Sales and Marketing, and Peter Tyroller, Board of Management, Robert Bosch GmbH, experienced heads from the world of automotive will be seated on the panels for other streams at the Summit covering The changing face of vehicle retail supported by GForces Web Management and Innovation in ultra-low carbon technology, supported by EDF Energy.

Two-thirds of the delegate places have already been filled. Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis priced at £250 + VAT for SMMT members and £400 + VAT for non-members. To book your place at the SMMT International Automotive Summit, please visit or call SMMT on 0808 178 8818.

To discuss advertising, exhibition and sponsorship opportunities, please contact 0808 178 8818 or event will run alongside the Canary Wharf Motorexpo, which runs from 11-17 June.

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