The Vauxhall car plant at Ellesmere Port will double its number of technical apprentices next year as plans get underway to build the Astra at the site.
Last week the factory, which is owned by General Motors, was saved from closure, preserving 2,100 jobs and creating 700 more in a £125m investment.
Elizabeth Lowe, North West business partner for Semta, the sector skills council for science, engineering and manufacturing, said: “After undertaking a skills gap analysis and working through the Semta Skills and Growth Working Group, we found that if the company wanted to grow it would need to ensure it had a robust skills succession plan, and as a result Vauxhall will be recruiting more apprentices.”
Bob Holmes, HR training manager at the Vauxhall site, also commented: “The decision to double our intake of technical apprentices brings a real opportunity for young people in the North West. Apprentices bring new capabilities, skills and technologies which help businesses to stay ahead.”
Bill Twigg, apprenticeship director at Semta, said: “Technical skills are scarce and are getting more difficult and expensive to hire. Around 15 per cent of apprentices demonstrated the competence of a skilled craftsman after only 30 months on the programme, so can deliver real cost benefits to the company, as well as having a positive impact on tackling youth unemployment.”