Creating a highly skilled workforce is key to increasing industry competitiveness

12 June 2012 #SMMT News

Attracting new talent and creating a highly-skilled workforce is crucial to maintaining UK automotive’s growth prospects and boosting global competitiveness, says a panel of industry representatives, chaired by the Automotive Council’s Co-Chair Richard Parry-Jones.

Opening a session that explored the need to encourage young people to consider careers in manufacturing at today’s International Automotive Summit, Christine Gaskell MBE, Member of the Board, Personnel, at Bentley Motors emphasised the importance of schemes and initiatives that showcase the range of exciting career opportunities available. She added that whilst attracting fresh talent is crucial, automotive companies must also prioritise the continued development of the existing workforce by offering a range of training programmes and vocational courses that match the overall business objectives of the company.

Building on this, Unipart Manufacturing’s HR Director, Julie Carroll, summarised the company’s training and development ethos which focuses on providing all employees with long-term support and development prospects to ensure work is of the highest standard. She also discussed Unipart’s approach to engaging with young people with the manufacturing sector, highlighting the critical role new digital media platforms have in reaching a wider audience.

Nick Pascoe, Chief Executive, Controlled Power Technologies followed, drawing attention to the challenges in not only finding talent but in discovering engineers with the right, quality skill set needed to meet overall company objectives and demand emerging from new markets and technologies. He added that building a quality workforce will not be achieved through apprenticeship schemes alone, and stated that an integrated approach to training and qualifications is vital to the development of highly-skilled employees.

Reflecting on how automotive can compete with other sectors in the employment arena, the speakers took part in a Q&A panel at the end of the session.

Click through the link to see the latest update from today’s International Automotive Summit.


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