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Automotive Industrial Partnership On Starting Grid

The future of the UK’s automotive industry was lined up on the starting grid at the House of Lords today – to mark a milestone moment in its industrial history. (Thursday March 12).

The Automotive Industrial Partnership, which consists of many of the UK’s leading automotive manufacturers aims to drive growth, investment and revenues by securing skills for the future.

Business Secretary Vince Cable announced the £30m initiative earlier this year (Jan 2015).

Jo Lopes, Chair of the Automotive Industrial Partnership and Head of Technical Excellence at Jaguar Land Rover hailed the launch as an important moment in the history of the sector.

“This is an exceptional moment for our sector. The Automotive Industrial Partnership brings together the sector’s employers to work collaboratively on an unprecedented scale.

“The unified effort – from all sides of the industry and government – will ensure that the automotive sector will thrive for generations to come.

“The UK’s automotive industry is one of the most successful in the world. We are achieving record growth, creating thousands of jobs and attracting major inward investment. Ensuring we have a pipeline of skills talent now and for the future is critically important to our continued success.

“The partnership will see large manufacturers working alongside SME supply chain employers to develop good practice that the entire industry will benefit from.

“We are aiming to inspire the next generation of vehicle makers and create new routes into automotive careers, as well as upskilling those that already work in the industry”.

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.”

Among the household names driving the partnership are; Bentley, BMW, Ford, GKN, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Toyota and Vauxhall.

Not for profit employer led skills organisation Semta, industry trade association the SMMT working through the Automotive Council also support the Automotive Industrial Partnership in conjunction with the Industry Forum, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

Initiatives include:

  • Supporting the development and roll out of robust and quality focussed new world class Apprenticeship Standards, with the development of Trailblazer Apprenticeships in seven key areas.
  • Piloting a range of programmes to attract more work ready new entrants to the sector, including giving 4,500 Year Six students an experience of working in the industry through a one day production simulation and taking on 960 11-16 year old Industrial Cadets, to develop vital industry skills in team working, communications and problem solving over a six day programme.
  • Providing a route to work for 19+ year olds, with a 15 day programme offering vocational training and simulated work activities designed by their potential future employers. Assessing functional and employability skills will lead to further work experience at a host company, helping young people with little or no workplace experience and vocational skills on a route to possible future apprenticeships.
  • Carrying out in depth research to establish automotive industry employers’ current and future skills needs.
  • Developing industry approved high quality learning and development solutions that are relevant to job roles across the whole industry.
  • Formally accrediting quality assured training organisations to deliver industry approved frameworks, qualifications and programmes.
  • Upskilling the existing workforce and re-training and recruitment initiatives to bring new talent to the industry, which will benefit large manufacturer and SME supply chain employers.
  • Attracting 10,000 apprentices and 2,000 graduates by 2018.

The event, hosted by Baroness Wall of New Barnet, was addressed by Ian Green, Senior Controller, Global Training Centre, Nissan, Dr Simon Farrall
BMW Group 
Head of Apprentice and Associate Training, Andrew Parsons, Section Manager, Technical Skills Development, Toyota Manufacturing (UK) Ltd, Dr Steve Maggs, Principal Teaching Fellow WMG, University of Warwick, Alexandre Cazals, Product Development Graduate, Jaguar Land Rover.

Notes to Editors

The Employer Ownership Pilot (EOP) is a £340m competitive fund that invited employers, over two rounds, to tell government how they would better use public investment, alongside their own, to invest in the skills of their current and future workforce in order to grow our economy.

The Industrial Partnership is one of the fruits of Automotive Council, set up in 2009 as a platform for the automotive industry and government to work together to drive the sector to global leadership.

The project is for England and is jointly funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department for Education, and is administered by the Skills Funding Agency. The project was developed in conjunction with UKCES.

The government investment for this project totals £11.3m. This is matched by the auto sector with £19.1m of its own resources (£16.4m in kind and £2.8m cash).

The seven Trailblazer Apprenticeships being developed by the automotive industry are:

  • Mechatronics Maintenance Technician Level 3
  • Product Design and Development Technician Level 3
  • Electrical/Electronic Support Engineer Level 6
  • Control/Technical Support Engineer Level 6
  • Manufacturing Engineer Level 6
  • Product Design and Development Engineer Level 6
  • Tool making, Tool & Die Maintenance Level 3


Semta is ‘Engineering Skills for the Future’.

Semta is employer-led and responsible for equipping the UK’s vital engineering, science and manufacturing technologies sectors with the skills to compete on the global stage.


The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is one of the largest and most influential trade associations in the UK. It supports the interests of the UK automotive industry at home and abroad, promoting a united position to government, stakeholders and the media.

Industry Forum

Is a manufacturing improvement specialist, bringing together a world-class combination of expertise, insight and best practice to the automotive sector. Supporting leading manufacturing organisations for 20 years, its team of expert practitioners and trainers help major global manufacturers understand and improve capability and capacity.

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