Automotive manufacturers pull together to address skills shortage

12 April 2016 #SMMT News

Nine British automotive manufacturers have today launched a new initiative to help young people find a job in the automotive industry.

The Automotive Apprenticeship Matching Service (AAMS), supported by manufacturers and funded through the joint government-industry Automotive Investment Partnership, will match prospective apprentices from oversubscribed programmes to other opportunities within the sector. The launch comes after a recent Automotive Council report identified a potential 5,000 unfilled automotive job vacancies due to a lack of available talent.

With an expected 10,000 candidates to benefit each year, the scheme will be of particular advantage to supply chain companies who may find it harder to identify new recruits. The AAMS is also supported by the new Automotive Industry Job Framework, which is designed to bring uniformity to job descriptions across the industry, making it easier for companies to employ the right people for the right roles.

The launch of the AAMS coincides with the publication of a new report from the Automotive Industrial Partnership which suggests that a shortage of adequate training provision could begin to have a negative impact on industry productivity. The UK’s automotive workforce is currently the most productive in Europe.

UK automotive manufacturers already invest heavily in skills and apprenticeships, but after the recession saw skilled employees leave the workforce, companies have struggled to recruit in line with the rapid industry growth.

Bentley, BMW, Ford, GKN, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Toyota and Vauxhall are all participating in the scheme.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “This is an example of the UK automotive industry working collaboratively to address the skills challenges it faces. While the sector is thriving – the UK has the most productive labour force in Europe and car production is set to reach record levels by 2020 – its future success will depend on the ability to recruit and develop new talent for a huge number of job vacancies. Initiatives such as this will therefore play a vital role in tackling the skills gap and supporting the sector’s competitiveness.”

Nick Boles MP, Minister of State for Skills, said, “The UK automotive sector is already leading the way as the most productive of all major European producers. Investment in skills by our leading manufacturers has been a key contributing factor. Our apprenticeship reforms are putting employers in the driving seat to deliver the long-term skills our economy needs, and the Matching Service is a great example of industry working collaboratively to make the most of the opportunities that apprenticeships offer.”

For more information on the Automotive Apprenticeship Matching Service, visit the website at

Click here to download the report: Assessing Learning and Training Provision Serving the Automotive Industry

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