Leading car manufacturers have today launched the Automotive Apprenticeship Matching Service, as a platform to develop the skilled workforce of the future.
Each year the Matching Service, developed and funded through the Automotive Industrial Partnership (an industry skills collaboration, supported by government), will help up to 10,000 high quality candidates per annum secure an automotive apprenticeship, where the company programmes to which they apply are oversubscribed. The service is expected to be of particular benefit to the automotive supply chain.
The launch of the Matching Service comes as new research carried out by advanced manufacturing skills body Semta, on behalf of the Automotive Industrial Partnership, reveals how a shortage of adequate training provision in the sector could start to impact on the skills needed to sustain automotive productivity in this growing sector, particularly in manufacturing and engineering disciplines. The report, published today, complements earlier research, which found up to 5,000 job vacancies in the sector could be vacant due to a lack of skills needed to fulfil them.
Jo Lopes, Head of Technical Excellence at Jaguar Land Rover and Chair of the Automotive Industrial Partnership said, “As an industry, the automotive sector has a long standing history of providing apprenticeships – and there are many great career opportunities. But we recognise that there is more we can do to attract and support our new talent pipeline. By taking a collaborative and innovative approach to developing new skills solutions, with larger employers working alongside smaller component manufacturers we are ensuring that our whole industry will benefit.”
The Matching Service is a unique interactive service facilitated by apprenticeship matching platform GetMyFirstJob. It will work smartly and collaboratively with both candidates and companies across the supply chain, providing full support throughout the recruitment and development process.
Skills Minister Nick Boles 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. Apprenticeships provide an opportunity for young people to gain valuable skills that employers in the industry want and need and services like the Automotive Apprenticeship Matching Service are a prime example of industry working together to make the most of the opportunities they can offer.”
Al Parkes, Chief Operating Officer from Semta said: “Growing automotive specific apprenticeship training provision in key skills shortage areas was a key recommendation in the research report and the launch of the Matching Service strongly supports this.
“The Matching Service is vital for the industry and has huge potential to be broadened to support the recruitment and development of new talent in the wider advanced manufacturing sector and indeed other disciplines, hugely benefiting employment as a whole in the UK.”
One firm that the Matching Service will benefit directly is developer and supplier of emissions reduction and fuel efficiency technology for vehicles, Torotrak. Adam Robson, CEO of Torotrak welcomed the initiative, saying: “The Matching Service is a much needed service that will hugely benefit Torotrak. We needed help recruiting high quality candidates with the right training to achieve our growth plans, so the launch of this service couldn’t have come at a better time. We expect it to ease the process for us, resulting in significant recruitment resource, time and cost savings.”
Field work undertaken by the Automotive Industrial Partnership to launch the Automotive Apprenticeship Matching Service:
A detailed analysis of the learning provision currently available to meet the skills priorities of the UK’s automotive manufacturing sector. Skills shortages are most likely to impact on manufacturing and engineering job roles and there is a need for more specialised automotive tailored solutions, including apprenticeships.
Some specific LEP areas with significant automotive employment lag behind other areas in meeting local employer skills demand, underlining the importance of coordinated intervention to address shortfalls.
Commissioned by the Automotive Industrial Partnership, the report features a survey of 61 UK automotive companies, including eight vehicle manufacturers and 23 suppliers, collectively employing around 83,200 people in the UK. It identifies where the main gaps lie in skills availability, as well as how critical these gaps are.
2,500 vacancies from the companies surveyed were found to be ‘difficult to fill’ or ‘challenging’, which when extrapolated to the whole industry (around 160,000 people employed), puts the potential number of these jobs at almost 5,000.