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BMW Group UK backs industry drive to attract new talent to automotive sector

BMW Group has joined forces with other leading UK car manufacturers to help launch the Automotive Apprenticeship Matching Service and develop the skilled workforce of the future.

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BMW Group has joined forces with other leading UK car manufacturers to help launch the Automotive Apprenticeship Matching Service and develop the skilled workforce of the future.

The new Matching Service, developed and funded through the Automotive Industrial Partnership (an industry skills collaboration, supported by government), will help up to 10,000 high quality candidates per annum secure an automotive apprenticeship, where the company programmes to which they apply are oversubscribed.

BMW Group currently employs more than 200 apprentices across its UK operations and receives around 1,000 applications for around 50 places each year. It is expected that the Matching Service will be of particular benefit to the wider automotive supply chain in which BMW Group and other car manufacturers operate, ensuring that high-calibre candidates seeking a career in the sector are helped to succeed.

Other employers collaborating and driving the partnership include Bentley, Ford, GKN, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Toyota and Vauxhall.

The launch of the service comes as new research carried out by advanced manufacturing skills body Semta, on behalf of the Automotive Industrial Partnership, reveals how a shortage of adequate training provision in the sector could start to impact on the skills needed to sustain automotive productivity in this growing sector, particularly in manufacturing and engineering disciplines.

The report, published today, complements earlier research, which found up to 5,000 job vacancies in the sector could be vacant due to a lack of skills needed to fulfil them.

Dr Simon Farrall, Head of Apprentice and Associate Training at BMW Group and Vice-Chair of the Automotive Industrial Partnership, said: “As a major UK employer that is committed to developing skills in our industry, we’re delighted to be working with the Automotive Apprenticeship Matching Service. Each year we have huge interest in our apprenticeship programmes and receive far more applications than there are places available. There are some very capable candidates who apply to us and we don’t want to simply turn people away.

"By introducing these candidates to the Matching Service, engineering businesses can access these quality applicants, which enables them to recruit more effectively. This not only enables companies to secure their talent pipeline but also helps to retain and nurture much needed skills within the automotive sector.”

Jo Lopes, Head of Technical Excellence at Jaguar Land Rover and Chair of the Automotive Industrial Partnership said, “As an industry, the automotive sector has a long standing history of providing apprenticeships – and there are many great career opportunities. But we recognise that there is more we can do to attract and support our new talent pipeline. By taking a collaborative and innovative approach to developing new skills solutions, with larger employers working alongside smaller component manufacturers we are ensuring that our whole industry will benefit.”

The Matching Service is a unique interactive service facilitated by apprenticeship matching platform GetMyFirstJob. It will work smartly and collaboratively with both candidates and companies across the supply chain, providing full support throughout the recruitment and development process.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “The UK is the most productive of all European car manufacturers – if we are to maintain this position, it’s essential that we have the right skills. Apprenticeships provide an opportunity for young people to gain valuable skills that employers in the industry want and need and services like the Automotive Apprenticeship Matching Service are a prime example of industry working together to make the most of the opportunities they can offer.”

Al Parkes, Chief Operating Officer from Semta said: "Growing automotive specific apprenticeship training provision in key skills shortage areas was a key recommendation in the research report and the launch of the Matching Service strongly supports this.

“The Matching Service is vital for the industry and has huge potential to be broadened to support the recruitment and development of new talent in the wider advanced manufacturing sector and indeed other disciplines, hugely benefiting employment as a whole in the UK.”

One firm that the Matching Service will benefit directly is developer and supplier of emissions reduction and fuel efficiency technology for vehicles, Torotrak.
Adam Robson, CEO of Torotrak welcomed the initiative, saying: “The Matching Service is a much needed service that will hugely benefit Torotrak. We needed help recruiting high quality candidates with the right training to achieve our growth plans, so the launch of this service couldn’t have come at a better time.  We expect it to ease the process for us, resulting in significant recruitment resource, time and cost savings.”

Notes to editors

The BMW Group

With its three brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 30 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2015, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.247 million cars and nearly 137,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2015 was approximately € 9.22 billion on revenues amounting to € 92.18 billion. As of 31 December 2015, the BMW Group had a workforce of 122,244 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.





Field work undertaken by the Automotive Industrial Partnership to launch the Automotive Apprenticeship Matching Service:

Report: Assessing Learning and Training Provision Serving the Automotive Industry

A detailed analysis of the learning provision currently available to meet the skills priorities of the UK’s automotive manufacturing sector. Skills shortages are most likely to impact on manufacturing and engineering job roles and there is a need for more specialised automotive tailored solutions, including apprenticeships.

Some specific LEP areas with significant automotive employment lag behind other areas in meeting local employer skills demand, underlining the importance of coordinated intervention to address shortfalls.
Report: Employers’ views of the jobs and skills required for the UK automotive industry
Commissioned by the Automotive Industrial Partnership, the report features a survey of 61 UK automotive companies, including eight vehicle manufacturers and 23 suppliers, collectively employing around 83,200 people in the UK. It identifies where the main gaps lie in skills availability, as well as how critical these gaps are.

2,500 vacancies from the companies surveyed were found to be ‘difficult to fill’ or ‘challenging’, which when extrapolated to the whole industry (around 160,000 people employed), puts the potential number of these jobs at almost 5,000.

The full reports can be downloaded at:   

About the
Automotive Industrial Partnership

The Automotive Industrial Partnership was established by the Automotive Council in 2014, bringing together leading automotive companies and government to ensure the UK’s automotive sector has the pipeline of skills talent it needs now and for the future. Employers collaborating and driving the Partnership include Bentley, BMW, Ford, GKN, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Toyota and Vauxhall. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), employer-led skills organisation Semta and UKCES also involved.

About GetMyFirstJob

Operational since 2012, is a social enterprise backed by Nesta Investments. GetMyFirstJob’s innovative web platform improves the speed and quality of matching young people to the right apprenticeship and the right employer/ training provider. With 230,000 candidates on its database, GetMyFirstJob handles over 20,000 applications a month.

About Semta

Semta – The Science, Engineering, Manufacturing and Technologies Alliance - is a not-for-profit organisation responsible for engineering skills for the future of the UK's most advanced sectors. Led by employers, Semta aims to transform the skills and productivity of the people who power engineering and advanced manufacturing technologies sectors, enabling UK industry to compete on the global stage.

About SMMT

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) exists to support and promote the interests of the UK automotive industry at home and abroad. Working closely with member companies, SMMT acts as the voice of the motor industry, promoting its position to government, stakeholders and the media.

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