Sixteen Apprentices have started the Lean Manufacturing Semi Skilled Level 2 Apprenticeship training programme at Lander Automotive, who are based at Woodgate Business Park near Halesowen. This initial group will be followed by regular intakes of further groups of young people over the next two years – resulting in 180 new Apprenticeship jobs; all part of a new workforce solution designed by Sigma Group and delivered by Derby College. Lander Automotive manufactures a broad range of products for major customers within the automotive industry, which includes Jaguar, Land Rover, and Nissan, to name just a few.
The company currently employs 400 people at its purpose-built engineering plant and is expanding and upskilling its workforce with the recruitment of Level 2 Apprentices, who will also create the ability to upskill the existing staff. Lander Automotive are changing the mix of their labour model to create the ability for knowledge to be transferred into the next generation, ensuring that the continuation of a skilled workforce is at the core of their business. Lander Automotive are working in partnership with leading workforce development and Lean implementation specialists Sigma Group, and the Apprenticeship division of Derby College.
Working in partnership, Sigma and Derby College have designed and implemented this new labour model, and together will manage the entire programme as a new innovative manpower and skills solution for Lander Automotive. The Apprenticeship consists of an initial 8 week academy-based programme where the Apprentices go through a mix of academic and practical learning, completing the technical certification element of the Apprenticeship Framework, whilst enjoying hands-on simulated work environments which prepare them for day-to-day life in advanced manufacturing.
The Level 2 Apprenticeship is part of a year-long programme, and following the intense 8-week curriculum, the apprentices will join the workforce on the shop floor for the next 10 months – learning every aspect of the business whilst gaining valuable NVQ qualifications which are recognised throughout the industry.
Amongst the young people joining the company is Adil Javaid (18) from Saltley and William Greensill (17) from Stourbridge. Adil has been working in sales for the past six months after starting sixth form and has his sights set on climbing the management ladder at Lander Automotive. He said: "This is a fantastic opportunity and the best of both worlds – gaining work experience and technical qualifications. "A career in engineering has incredible prospects and I want to work my way up at Lander Automotive and learn everything I can about the automotive industry."
William completed a Level 2 Engineering course at Stourbridge College and has been applying for Apprenticeship roles across the West Midlands. "I went to College because I wanted to get an Apprenticeship – preferably in the automotive industry - and I consider myself very fortunate to have been given this lucky break. "Lander Automotive is a well-established and growing company and I am really looking forward to getting proper work experience on the shop floor."
Lander Automotive Operations Director Len Palmer explained: "Growing the business through the Apprenticeship route will regenerate our workforce, bring some fresh blood into the business and address future skills shortages. "With an expanding worldwide order book, we have teamed up with Sigma Group to grow and develop our workforce and are keen to source this future talent from the local community which is traditionally rooted in the automotive industry. "We are looking for at least 180 young people to join the company over the next two years. Their apprenticeship will initially be for 12 months and they will then have the opportunity to progress onto an 18 month second term Apprenticeship, expanding on their Lean Manufacturing competence and skills for delivering operational excellence. "Our aim is to have a multi-skilled workforce who have the capabilities to further develop the business in this area – creating even more job opportunities in the local community."
Sigma Group CEO Brendan Hand added: "Lander Automotive are already an outstanding, high quality manufacturer of world class products. This skills initiative will ensure they transfer knowledge, develop a true talent pipeline whilst increasing their productivity and efficiency by getting the entire business to deliver new results. "This will be the first manufacturing skills academy in the area and will be a bench mark location. I would encourage anyone that wants a career in manufacturing with a great company to come along to the recruitment events and start a new future with Lander Automotive."
Derby College is one of the region's leading providers of Apprenticeships, and they work with a wide range of employers to develop sector-specific training programmes and qualifications to address specific recruitment needs. Derby College Business Development Director April Hayhurst concluded: "This bespoke Apprenticeship programme is beneficial for Lander Automotive and young job seekers in the local area. "Lander Automotive have recognised that a large scale, bespoke Apprenticeship programme is the ideal route for them to achieve business growth and tackle skills shortages. "This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to get on the first rung of the career ladder in the automotive industry."
Applications for further apprenticeship posts are available on the National Apprenticeship Service vacancy matching website www.apprenticeshipvacancymatchingservice.lsc.gov.... .