Nissan Sunderland opens 2012 apprenticeship scheme

Posted on 8 Feb 2012

Nissan’s Sunderland plant has announced 25 new apprenticeships on its Trainee Maintenance Technician Scheme.

Announced to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week, the 25 posts will take the number of apprentices recruited at the plant to 1,073 in its 26-year history.

The 25 new trainees will become part of the maintenance team who maintain the production facilities at Nissan Sunderland, the UK’s biggest carmaker. The structured programme leads to a foundation degree, and those accepted will also learn the Nissan Production Way, the foundation of the company’s manufacturing system.

The roles form part of a recruitment campaign at Nissan Sunderland for engineers and maintenance technicians, as preparations continue for the launch of the new Battery Plant and production of the 100% electric Nissan LEAF, and high demand for the Crossover models Qashqai and Juke continues. Employment recently hit a record at the plant with more than 5,400 staff on site.

Anybody interested in the Nissan Apprenticeship Scheme should call the Nissan Training Section on 0191 418 4219 for further information. Details of all the other roles currently available at the plant are available at the website

Nissan Sunderland plant engineering director, Richard Ebrahim, who started his own career as an apprentice, said: “We are proud to support apprenticeships and would like to see more companies in our region doing so.

“Hiring apprentices… supports the development of future managers and directors, giving our staff the practical skills and academic qualifications they will need for a successful career. We are looking for ambitious, intelligent people with a desire to learn and work hard. In return they are guaranteed a challenging and rewarding career at a company that is at the forefront of the UK manufacturing industry.”

Nissan Sunderland Plant manufactured 480,485 units in 2010 which accounted for more than one in three of all passenger cars produced in the UK and broke the plant’s own all-time record for UK car manufacturing. Nissan Sunderland Plant has now been the UK’s biggest car producer in every year since 1998.
One of the plant’s current apprentices is Ethan Marshall, who has just been named Nissan Sunderland Plant’s Trainee Maintenance Technician of the Year.

He started the five-year scheme in January 2008 and is assigned to Trim and Chassis No. 1 Shop at the plant, where the Qashqai and Qashqai+2 are manufactured.

Ethan, 21, from Chester-le-Street, is currently completing the final year of the Foundation Degree in Maintenance Engineering. His job involves activities such as facility improvements, software improvements, reducing breakdowns on equipment and AGV production cover.

He said: “I chose an apprenticeship because it would enable me to gain valuable qualifications in engineering, both practical and theoretical, while being paid. It also allows me to apply skills to real life situations and, at the end, have a secure career with good prospects.”

The five-year Trainee Maintenance Technician scheme combines theoretical and practical skills, giving successful applicants the chance to work towards nationally-recognised qualifications through on-the-job and academic training, while earning a competitive salary.

The first year of the scheme is spent completing off-the-job-training with Gateshead College. The remaining 4 years are spent in the plant with day release at college.

New apprentices will study towards nationally-recognised qualifications developed with NA College and Gateshead College, including NVQ Level 2 in Performing Engineering Operations; NVQ Level 3 Engineered Systems; Award in Industrial Environmental Awareness; Extended Certificate in Engineering (Level 2), Extended Diploma in Engineering (Level 3) and Foundation Degree in Maintenance Engineering.

Applicants must be aged over 16 and be under 24 on September 1, 2012. The minimum academic qualifications are at least 4 GCSEs, including Grade A or B in Mathematics; Grade A-C in English Language; Grade A-C in a science-based subject and Grade A-C in at least one other subject. Equivalent qualifications will also be considered.