It is well-documented that the UKâs manufacturing and engineering sector as a whole continues to be faced by major skills shortages owing to a declining uptake in specialist careers amongst younger generations. In order to fill those growing skills gaps, some of the worldâs major car manufacturers have recently launched the Automotive Apprenticeship Matching Service.
It comes after the government announced plans to introduce an Apprentice Levy scheme would be going ahead at the start of next year. The levy will make it compulsory for all large employers to support apprenticeship schemes with the hope of introducing new talent to the sector.
Amongst partners contributing to the Automotive Apprenticeship Matching Service are world-renowned Nissan, Bentley, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Ford. It aims to recruit in excess of 10,000 new apprenticeship within the automotive sector and will increase the chances of young people securing a place on the highly lucrative automotive apprenticeship schemes.
In principle, the apprenticeship recruitment programme will enable automotive manufacturers to reconnect with previously unsuccessful candidates, give those applicants who narrowly missed out an apprenticeship the opportunity to work within another automotive setting.
Simon Farrall, Head of Apprentices at BMW, was â in this respect â hopeful, admitting that the firm turn away a good many strong candidates that theyâre simply unable to accommodate. He added that the by pooling apprentices within the matching service, automotive manufacturers would be able to pick up where rivals cannot and gain the quality engineers and technicians of the future.
Semta, the Science, Engineering, Manufacturing and Technologies Alliance, which promotes the interests of some of the sectorâs top employers and actively encourages the recruitment of apprenticeships, has suggested that the UKâs automotive sector is at risk of dwindling productivity if skills shortages do not begin to be addressed. In a report, published on Tuesday, the not-for-profit organisation found that as many as 5,000 jobs could be left vacant if the right training and opportunities are not introduced.
Jo Lopes, Head of Technical Excellence at Jaguar Land Rover, admitted that the sector could do more to attract younger people to take up a career in the automotive industry. He added that the new collaborative approach evident within the Automotive Apprentice Matching Service could well be a solution to addressing current skills shortages as well as securing the future of the industry.
Nick Boles, Skills Minister praised the UKâs automotive industry, insisting that it continues to be the most productive in Europe. If we are to maintain this position, itâs essential that we have the right skills, he added.
The apprenticeship pooling platform will be hosted by GetMyFirstJob and will engage with national candidates and manufacturers throughout the supply chain. It may well be a step in the right direction for the industry and, in particular, the government which committed to recruiting three million more apprentices by 2020.