SMMT, alongside skills organisation SEMTA and a number of UK automotive manufacturers, has joined forces with government to launch a new skills initiative. The Automotive Industrial Partnership will help to inspire the next generation of automotive engineers and technicians, create new routes into automotive careers and increase skill levels in the industry.
Industry will invest £2.8 million and £16.4 million in-kind, alongside £11.3 million of government funding. Developed through the Automotive Council’s Business Environment and Skills Group, the Automotive Industrial Partnership will develop a number of initiatives, including:
- Giving 4,500 nine year olds experience of working in the automotive industry through a one-day simulation.
- Recruiting almost 1,000 Industrial Cadets between 11 and 16 years of age , to develop vital skills in team working, communications and problem solving.
- Providing a route to work for more than 200 people over 19 years of age through vocational training and work experience.
The Industrial Partnership consists of the UK’s largest automotive employers – Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Ford, General Motors, GKN, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and Toyota – as well as SEMTA and SMMT.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said, “This investment puts our automotive sector in the driving seat to design the skills our manufacturing companies need. There is a risk that without adequate investment in skills, the industry will run into serious skills bottlenecks.
“Through our industrial strategy we are working in partnership with the automotive sector as it goes from strength to strength. We are providing businesses with the confidence to invest, and to create high skilled jobs.”
It is estimated that by 2020 at least 50,000 jobs in the UK automotive sector will need replacing, with skills in advanced technologies to aid connectivity, advanced propulsion and lightweighting at the top of manufacturers’ agendas. Some manufacturers claim that the UK currently produces just half the number of engineers it needs to rebalance the economy.
The Automotive Council is a joint government and industry-led organisation, which aims to establish the UK automotive industry as a world leader.