At the unveiling of the latest car to be built at Sunderland, Nissan announced the creation of 75 advanced apprenticeships over the next 5 years. It will also extend its educational outreach programme until 2014, benefiting an extra 6000 school students and 750 university engineering students.
The announcement follows the government’s decision to prioritise apprenticeships by refocusing £150m into the creation of an additional 50,000 this year.
The company is investing £57m in production of the Juke at Sunderland, safeguarding 1100 jobs.
John Hayes said:
“This is one of the most successful and productive plants in Europe and Nissan’s long-standing commitment to skills is one of the biggest reasons why.
“Building the Juke in Sunderland will secure jobs and investment for years to come, benefiting the workforce and local community right here, as well as safeguarding more jobs in the supply chain across the region and the UK economy as a whole.
“It is very exciting to see what this fantastic investment means and meet some of the skilled people who will be building the Juke. I am also encouraged that this is one of the leading companies that is taking investment in apprenticeships seriously, helping people get the very best skills available.
“We want British businesses and individuals to have the skills they need to succeed, and I hope to see many more companies across the country investing in the future.”
Trevor Mann, Nissan Senior Vice President of Manufacturing, Europe said:
“Juke provides a much needed breath of fresh air within the small car segment and will play a key role in defining the Nissan brand in the years ahead.
“Customers in this sector now have the opportunity to own a highly individual and innovative car that will reinforce Nissan’s position as a pioneer of crossover vehicles.
“Congratulations to the Sunderland workforce for earning the right to produce what is their sixth new model in eight years. I would also like to thank both national and local government for their support, as well as the continued efforts of our all our suppliers.”
The Juke combines characteristics of a sports utility vehicle and a compact sports car and will be an alternative to traditional hatchback cars when it goes on sale across Europe next month.
The Sunderland plant expects to produce up to 100,000 Jukes each year, making it the plant’s second highest volume model behind the Qashqai. The plant also produces the Nissan Note and the Qashqai +2, while the Leaf is confirmed for production from early 2013.
Earlier this year, the Department for Business confirmed a £20m grant supporting further investment by Nissan to produce electric car batteries and build the Leaf electric car at Sunderland.
John Hayes will also visit Newcastle College, one of the biggest providers of adult learning in England, to see the facilities, meet college staff and talk to construction apprentices about their training experiences.
John Hayes said:
“Learning is essential to building strong communities. Local employers need people with the right skills to run a successful business, local workers need the right skills to get a good job, and everyone needs a wide range of formal and informal learning opportunities.
“That’s why we are committed to ensuring that everyone can benefit from learning, whatever their age, career, or circumstances.
“We have already signalled our commitment to apprentices and education and to renewing further education colleges, and later this year will set out our skills strategy for the future.
“I am delighted to see one of the most successful colleges in the country here in Newcastle and hope to watch it go from strength to strength in the coming years.”
Notes to editors:
In May this year, the government announced it would refocus £150m to provide an extra 50,000 apprentices this year, and a further £50m into college capital projects.
To find out more about Apprenticeships visit http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/ or call 08000 150 600.
The government is currently consulting on skills strategy for the future - www.bis.gov.uk/skills-consultation
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Notes to Editors
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