Car makers launch apprenticeship service

Car makers launch apprenticeship service

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

The Automotive Apprenticeship Matching Service (AAMS), developed and funded through the Automotive Industrial Partnership, aims to help up to 10,000 candidates a year secure an automotive apprenticeship, where company programmes to which they apply are oversubscribed.

Bentley, BMW, Ford, GKN, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Toyota and Vauxhall are all participating in the scheme which is expected to be of particular benefit to the automotive supply chain in the West Midlands.

The launch of the service comes as research by manufacturing skills body Semta reveals how a shortage of adequate training in the sector could start to impact on the skills needed to sustain productivity.

Paul Cadman, group MD of bespoke design and prototyping specialists Futura, welcomed the announcement, saying: “Growing our own skilled engineers is the only way we will begin to bridge the skills gap and the more opportunities we create – with high level training and employment attached to them – the better.

“The Automotive Industrial Partnership announcement is a fantastic step forward in an industry that the UK is leading the rest of the world in and the benefits will no doubt cascade down throughout the supply chain over time.

“Futura is a massive supporter of developing graduates and apprentices and in the last three years we have helped to equip 29 young people with the skills, knowledge and on-the-job training needed to make a real difference to the sector.

“We also work with Jaguar Land Rover to run their modelling academy, which provides a continual source of new styling experts for the rapidly growing car maker.

“As a Consultative Forum Member of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, it will also play a role in meeting our aim of doubling the local economy by 2023."

Skills minister Nick Boles also supported the campaign. He said: "The UK is the most productive of all European car manufacturers - if we are to maintain this position, it's essential that we have the right skills."