Nissan’s Sunderland plant, which employs 5,000 people, is set to launch four new models
of car in the next two years, and recruit 2,000 additional workers. This is a huge boost to an
area with high unemployment, but creates an urgent need to tackle the regions skills short
ages. As a result, Nissan will implement a new programme to bridge skills gaps for more than
3,600 people; including new recruits, technical staff, and supply chain workers involved in
producing new models and working with new technologies, such as electric vehicles. The
programme, operating alongside Nissan’s current £2m per annum training programme, will
also offer training for more senior roles, as the unprecedented rate of growth creates new
opportunities to promote from within.
There had been widespread concern amongst Nissan and its key suppliers that new labour and skills were urgently required, to prevent critical jobs and export earnings being lost from the UK. To address these concerns, Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd, in collaboration with large regional suppliers, Gateshead College and the University of Sunderland, has developed a major skills programme across 14 areas of training to enable the company to implement its ambitious growth plans. 40% of the programme will support key suppliers, including SMEs, in the north-east (Nissan relies on its supply chain for up to 80% of its parts).
The initiative will help Nissan and its key suppliers to make a step change in the scale and quality of their training provision, to innovate and share best practice.
The programme will make a vital contribution to skills development at a critical time in the
expansion of the north-east’s automotive sector, and deliver improvements to the skills of
Nissan’s key local suppliers and the region’s workforce in general. This will create a significant number of high quality, sustainable job opportunities, with resultant reduction in unemployment – especially...