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Car manufacturers unite to support apprenticeship 'matching' service


Car manufacturers have today launched the Automotive Apprenticeship Matching Service, to help ensure there are enough skilled workers in the sector.

Each year the matching service, developed and funded through the Automotive Industrial Partnership (an industry skills collaboration, supported by the Government), will help up to 10,000 candidates secure a high-demand automotive apprenticeship.

Manufacturers backing the service are Bentley, BMW, Ford, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Toyota and Vauxhall. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and employer-led skills organisation Semta are also involved.

The launch comes as research by Semta, for 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.

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 an interactive service facilitated by apprenticeship matching platform GetMyFirstJob.

It will work with candidates and companies across the supply chain, providing full support throughout the recruitment and development process.

Dr Simon Farrall, head of apprentice and associate training at BMW Group and vice-chair of the Automotive Industrial Partnership, said: “Each year we have huge interest in our apprenticeship programmes and receive far more applications than there are places available.

“There are some very capable candidates who apply to us and we don’t want to simply turn people away. 

"By introducing these candidates to the matching service, engineering businesses can access these quality applicants, which enable them to recruit more effectively.

“This not only enables companies to secure their talent pipeline but also helps to retain and nurture much needed skills within the automotive sector.”

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

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