Manufacturers launch solution to attract new talent to automotive sector

Posted on 13 Apr 2016 by Victoria Fitzgerald

UK car manufacturers, including BMW, in association with GetMyFirstJob, have united to help launch the Automotive Apprenticeship Matching Service and develop the skilled workforce of the future.

The new Matching Service was developed and funded through the Automotive Industrial Partnership and launched on April 12.

Large OEM manufacturers often receive large numbers of apprenticeship applications for a relatively small number of positions, while their tier one and tier two suppliers often struggle to find good apprenticeship candidates.

The service will help up to 10,000 high quality candidates per year secure an automotive apprenticeship, where the company programmes to which they originally applied are oversubscribed.

BMW Group currently employs more than 200 apprentices across its UK operations and receives around 1,000 applications for around 50 places each year.

Automotive apprenticeship scheme receives widespread support

It is expected that the Matching Service will be of particular benefit to the wider automotive supply chain in which BMW Group and other car manufacturers operate, ensuring that high-calibre candidates seeking a career in the sector are helped to succeed.

Other employers collaborating and driving the partnership include Bentley, Ford, GKN, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Toyota and Vauxhall.

The launch of the 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.

Dr Simon Farrall, head of Apprentice and Associate Training at BMW Group and Vice-Chair of the Automotive Industrial Partnership, said: “As a major UK employer that is committed to developing skills in our industry, we’re delighted to be working with the Automotive Apprenticeship Matching Service.

Jaguar Land Rover JLR
Jaguar Land Rover are also collaborating on the scheme.

“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 enables 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.”

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.”