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    Industry news: Automotive Industrial Partnership update

    The UK automotive industry is thriving. 2015 was the best year in a decade for car production with 1.59 million vehicles produced and volumes are forecast to reach an all-time record of 2 million by 2020. Ensuring the industry’s workforce can keep pace with this rapid growth and innovation has been a key objective of the Automotive Industrial Partnership…

    At the same time the rate of technological change in the industry is accelerating with new advancements, such as autonomous vehicles and connected system innovations, changing global manufacturing operations.

    Ensuring the industry’s workforce can keep pace with this rapid growth and innovation has been a key objective of the Automotive Industrial Partnership, as Jo Lopes, Chair of the Partnership and Head of Technical Excellence at Jaguar Land Rover explains.

    “The Automotive Industrial Partnership was established as an industry and government collaboration to address the skills challenges facing our industry. Despite being commercial and competitive organisations, we have all recognised the benefits or working collectively to future proof our industry and taking a collaborative approach to workforce recruitment and development.

    One of our first priorities was to conduct industry wide skills research on an unprecedented scale to strategically determine what our priorities should be. Two detailed reports were produced. The first surveyed a wide range of UK based automotive vehicles manufacturers and suppliers (representing 50% of direct UK automotive manufacturing employment) to identify the Top 10 most critical training requirements for the industry now and in the future. The second analysed the training provision currently available to meet our training needs. Collectively, this research has provided us with an invaluable foundation to jointly develop solutions to tackle the issues head on and ensure our activity and resources are more strategically focussed.

    Through the Automotive Industrial Partnership we have been taking action now to address skills challenges at all levels, from encouraging more young people to consider careers in the industry to supporting upskilling, progression and the retention of talent in the sector.

    We have introduced a range of innovative approaches to address our skills challenges including:

    • Launching the Automotive Apprenticeship Matching Service – to redirect high quality talent from over-subscribed automotive apprenticeship programmes to other companies within the sector that have opportunities.
    • Supporting the development of new apprenticeship trailblazer standards to meet the technological demands of the industry
    • Developing a job framework to bring consistency across the industry and showcase the diversity of automotive career opportunities available and the potential for progression or lateral moves.
    • Producing 119 detailed template job descriptions – to provide a common understanding of job roles and their skills requirements, and support supply chain employers with their recruitment activity.
    • Piloting Industrial Cadets and Art of Manufacturing school outreach activity to encourage more young people to join the industry.
    • Piloting new up-skilling training solutions – including advanced problem solving and leadership and management.

    Across the sector we have already invested heavily in workforce development and are extremely proud of what we have achieved through the Automotive Industrial Partnership.

    However, we recognise that there is more we can do collectively as industry (and with appropriate support from government and the professional institutions) to amplify our individual efforts and ensure we have the pipeline of talent we need now and for the future. That is why we are delighted that the Automotive Industrial Partnership will continue as the voice for skills in our sector, playing a vital role in developing and delivering our sector’s industrial strategy on behalf of the Automotive Council.”

    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham