Bentley SUVUK – The carmaker said the Upskilling programme would be “a significant step” in its “people and development strategy”. Bentley is investing in new training tools and facilities to grow its current workforce across the core competencies of Wood, Body, Trim and Engine. It is also redesigning its apprenticeship scheme. 

“The automotive industry moves at such a fast pace it’s vital that we not only bring fresh thinking into the business, but we continually develop our own talent,” said Ariane Reinhart, member of the board for HR. “We are working on the next generation of Bentleys and it’s important that our colleagues share the same commitment to performance, quality, and engineering excellence that our cars possess.”

Bentley will introduce ten training ‘islands’ within its main production facility to provide ‘near-the-job training’; away from the usual on-the-job process, training will be undertaken by a number of mentors with expertise in specific fields.

In addition, master trainers will deliver a curriculum to the latest apprentices; 51 will join the company in September, the largest intake in a decade. Of this total, 40 will be part of a new manufacturing programme focused on strengthening core skills as Bentley builds up to the introduction of its SUV in 2016. The scheme will combine tailored theoretical, practical and vocational training, plus placements within chosen professional areas in manufacturing.

Bentley is also playing a crucial role in the establishment of a University Technical College (UTC) at Crewe in 2016.