Mini teams up with Imperial College to find apprentices for Oxford plant

Posted on 8 Jun 2012

Iconic British car marque Mini, now owned by BMW, is collaborating with Imperial College to increase science skills levels within its apprenticeship applications.

BMW Mini’s plant, based in Cowley, Oxfordshire, recently welcomed Professor Lord Robert Winston and colleagues from Imperial College as part of a developing relationship between the two organisations to find laboratory apprentices for the plant.

Each year the applications for places in business, engineering and maintenance-based apprenticeships at the Mini plant are oversubscribed. However, the specific calibre of apprentice required in the firm’s laboratories has been difficult to find. Candidates will focus on chemistry process technology which includes chemical analysis, paint, adhesives and corrosion as well as material science.

Science and society professor, Lord Winston, said “The need for better connections between education and industry has never been more important. I am very excited that we are forging a collaboration between the Mini Plant and Imperial College, which will lead to more school children realising how they can contribute to the UK’s manufacturing base.”

Speaking on behalf of the lab, Oliver Wilmore from Mini commented, “We hope that Lord Winston and his team will provide the ‘missing link’ and help us to secure the right capability and mindset for future apprenticeships in the laboratory.”

Visitors from Imperial College were given a tour of the laboratory and looked around the bodyshop and assembly facility.