UK auto manufacturers join SMMT to launch National Apprenticeship Week

04 March 2014 #SMMT News


L-R: Bill Twigg (Semta); Jennifer Coupland (BIS/DfE); Konstanze Scharring (SMMT); Ian Eva (Jaguar Land Rover)


A number of leading automotive manufacturers have joined forces with Semta and SMMT to showcase their pioneering apprenticeship initiatives as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2014.

Exhibitors including Jaguar Land Rover, MINI, Nissan, Rolls-Royce, Toyota and Vauxhall took part in a landmark seminar held yesterday by Semta and SMMT. The seminar, which explored ongoing apprenticeship reforms such as the Trailblazers initiative, was also attended by a range of stakeholders and employers from the automotive industry.

Konstanze Scharring, SMMT’s Director of Policy, hosted and chaired the seminar, which included contributions from Bill Twigg, Apprenticeship Director, Semta; Ian Eva, Apprentice Manager, Jaguar Land Rover; and Jennifer Coupland, Deputy Director, BIS/DfE Apprenticeships Unit.

The event was attended by Matthew Hancock, Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise, who delivered an address in which he reaffirmed government’s commitment to apprenticeships.

Announced last year, the Trailblazers scheme aims to reform apprenticeships, tailoring them more specifically to employers’ requirements and delivering a greater quality of learning for the apprentices themselves. The ‘Trailblazers’ tag refers to groups of companies from eight different sectors which have come together to form the voice of industry in the reforms.

There are eight Trailblazers in all, representing a broad spectrum of UK industry; the automotive sector is joined by aerospace, digital, electro-technical, energy, financial services, food and drink, and life and industrial sciences.

This week, apprentices and organisations alike will be sharing news and views on their initiatives using #NAW2014 on Twitter.

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