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    NAA Skills Update: Developing a Skills Hub, and ‘Apprentices Explained’

    Find out about the new Autohub, designed to help with employing and developing apprentices, who could be Adult Apprentices as well as young school or college leavers.


    This is my first skills update since joining the NAA as Project Manager for Autohub, the name which has been selected for the work which the NAA and its partners will be carrying out thanks to the NAA’s successful bid for funding through the Government’s Higher Apprentice programme.

    Why Autohub? Well, the programme isn’t just about companies working in isolation to develop their workforce, it’s about all members of the North West’s automotive community working together to reduce the higher level skills deficit by employing and developing apprentices whose learning and development journey needn’t finish once they have completed their Advanced Apprenticeship.

    We refer to a ‘hub’ because we have a tremendous opportunity for employers who have insufficient understanding of apprenticeships to benefit from the knowledge and practical experience of other employers, some of whom have extremely impressive track records in the recruitment, training and development of apprentices. In fact, it’s not uncommon for many of the senior managers in those companies to have started their own careers as apprentices.

    Although it’s early days for Autohub, our engagement thus far with companies of all sizes has already thrown up some interesting suggestions including large companies “over training”, i.e. training apprentices for smaller companies; Autohub offering support on the legal/contractual aspects of apprenticeships; and small companies who struggle to recruit teaming up with larger companies on recruitment drives.

    But Autohub has been created for everyone’s benefit so it is important that we take on board the views of all employers and, to that end, you can be expecting a call from me at some point in the future.

    ‘Apprentices Explained!’ Events

    Following the success of our ‘Apprentices Explained!’ events in May and July, we have decided to schedule additional events. Aimed at all employers, regardless of whether or not they currently employ apprentices, the events provide an opportunity to find out more about the structure of apprenticeships (including Higher Apprenticeships), hear from employers of apprentices and also to hear from an apprentice who has completed an Advanced Apprenticeship and is continuing with his/her learning and development. We are hoping that one of the events will be hosted by an employer and will include a tour of their facility, and for those employers who cannot afford to take a few hours off their schedules, we are also planning to hold a series of drop-in events around the region. So please keep a lookout for your invitations to these events or contact me for further details.

    Thank you to all members of the North West’s automotive community who have been so welcoming and supportive of me during my first weeks with the NAA; I look forward to working with all of you in the future.

    If you would like to learn more about Apprenticeships, Autohub, or any other skills-related topics, I would be delighted to hear from you, contact details below.

    Susan Butters

    Project Manager, Autohub

    Northwest Automotive Alliance

    Tel: 07815 284360


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