The Vauxhall car plant at Ellesmere Port (pictured), thrown a lifeline last week with the announcement that it had been chosen by US parent GM as the production base for the new generation Astra, is to double the number of technical apprentices working there next year.
The news follows the announcement of a £125m investment at the site and that 2,100 jobs had been preserved and a further 700 created.
Bob Holmes, HR training manager at the Vauxhall site, said: “The decision to double our intake of technical apprentices brings a real opportunity for young people in the North West. Apprentices bring new capabilities, skills and technologies which help businesses to stay ahead.”
Bill Twigg, apprenticeship director at Semta, the sector skills council for science, engineering and manufacturing, said: “Technical skills are scarce and are getting more difficult and expensive to hire. Around 15 per cent of apprentices demonstrated the competence of a skilled craftsman after only 30 months on the programme, so can deliver real cost benefits to the company, as well as having a positive impact on tackling youth unemployment.” Elizabeth Lowe, North West business partner for Semta described the recruitment plans as “fantastic”.
This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2011.