Bentley Motors has announced it will launch a new Upskilling programme, aimed at strengthening its focus on training and development, as part of its people and development strategy.
The new programme will broaden, develop and enhance the skills of Bentley colleagues.
The luxury car brand is investing in new training tools and facilities to grow its current workforce, recruiting people to focus on core competencies within the business - wood, body and trim and engine - and redesigning its apprenticeship scheme.
Bentley's member of the board for human resources Dr Ariane Reinhart said: "The automotive industry moves at such a fast pace it's vital that we not only bring fresh thinking into the business, but we continually develop our own talent. We are working on the next generation of Bentleys and it's important that our colleagues share the same commitment to performance, quality, and engineering excellence that our cars possess.
"That's exactly why we are investing in our new Upskilling programme, to ensure we help our colleagues be as good as they can be, with every opportunity to develop their skills.
"The introduction of training islands, taking advantage of the expertise of master trainers and adopting a dual education approach are just some of the tools we will use to ensure a strong skills base continues throughout the business."
Ten uniquely designed training islands will be introduced within Bentley's main production facility, which last year manufactured a record 10,120 cars, to provide ‘near the job' training.
These islands will take colleagues away from the usual ‘on the job' process, with training undertaken by a number of training mentors, experts in their field.
In addition to mentors, Bentley will introduce master trainers, skilled colleagues who will develop and deliver training curriculum to the company's latest apprentice intake, passing on skills to the next generation, keeping competencies within the business.
Fifty-one apprentices will join Bentley in September, the largest intake in a decade. Forty of these will be part of a new dedicated manufacturing scheme focused on strengthening core skills as Bentley builds up to the introduction of the Bentley SUV, in 2016.
Bentley is also playing a crucial role in bringing a University Technical College (UTC) to Crewe in 2016. This new college will offer education for young people seeking a pathway to employment and further education.
The collaboration with UTC Crewe forms the next step in Bentley's focus on talent development and continuous improvement. Bentley already offers trainee programmes, including apprenticeships and graduate schemes, around 150 work experience placements each year and has an established school liaison programme providing workshops in local schools.
Bentley was also recently named as one of Britain's top employers for the third year running by the Top Employers Institute.