JLRUK – Business Secretary Vince Cable has earmarked £11.3m for an initiative by the Automotive Council, the government-industry association, which will introduce a range of programmes benefitting companies across the automotive supply chain.

Manufacturers will work together to identify and meet skills needs, create an industry-standard jobs framework and attempt to position the UK automotive industry at the forefront of future growth. Young people will have the opportunity to gain first-hand industry experience.

“The Automotive Industrial Partnership brings together industry’s employers on an unprecedented scale,” said Jo Lopes, head of technical excellence at JLR and chair of the Partnership. “By working collaboratively and taking an innovative and sector-wide approach, we are ensuring that the UK’s automotive sector can grow and retain the skills talent that is so vital for the industry’s continued success.”

JLR itself has intermediate, advanced and higher apprenticeship and graduate programmes; the advanced, higher and graduate programmes have recruited 2,000 individuals over the past four years. The vehicle-maker also has a team working closely with its supply chain for wider skills development. JLR’s ‘Advanced Skills Accreditation Scheme’ enables employees at suppliers to access MSc training modules at UK universities.

The OEM has doubled its workforce to 32,000 over the past five years, and earlier this month announced the creation of 1,300 additional jobs at its plant in Solihull, UK, to support the further development of lightweight vehicle technologies.