Government announces £20m skills backing for automotive supply chain

Posted on 30 Apr 2014 by Callum Bentley

New employees in the UK automotive supply chain are set to benefit from the Government’s latest £25 million funding support for training and skills development.

Speaking at a UK Commission for Employment and Skills Investment Showcase today, Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock unveiled £25 million of additional support for businesses to take the lead in improving training for new and current employees.

The Minister pledged to support businesses in the automotive sector supply chain with £20 million to fund training.

The news comes after EEF this morning released its latest report, which warned the quality and quantity of future graduates may fail to meet the UK manufacturing industry’s needs.

This latest funding announcement means that from next week, businesses in the sector will be able to submit proposals in order to access funding and address skills shortages. Businesses can submit their proposals from May 6 with the offer reaming open for 12 weeks.

Mr Hancock said: “Our goal is to bring employment and education closer together, to deliver the skills employers need. This straight forward, flexible employer ownership fund will allow employers in the supply chain to develop their skills so they can take advantage of significant growth opportunities in the sector.  By having a highly skilled workforce, companies will be able to grow and meet the imminent and longer-term needs of automotive manufacturing companies.”

In addition to this, further successful bidders for the Employer Ownership Pilot fund have been announced. Under this scheme, employers combine their own money with government funding, to invest in the training they need. Three companies have received £5.2 million between them to fund schemes in their area.

One successful bidder is Kostal (UK) Ltd which will use the funding to address the skills needs identified by employers in the advanced manufacturing and engineering sector in the Sheffield City Region. The project will be run by a board, chaired by Kostal (UK) Ltd, and made up of a number of employers from the City Region.