New UK-wide apprenticeship programme

Lear Corporation and Gateshead College have teamed up to kick-start the roll-out of a UK-wide apprenticeship programme.

Lear Corporation, Gateshead College ,and partner Cidori, are to develop a skills programme designed to help the Detroit-headquartered firm improve efficiency, boost productivity and increase employee engagement.

Initial training has already taken place at Lear’s Coventry operation and saw more than 100 apprentices work on a variety of projects designed to improve the running of production lines, make the workplace safer, boost morale and reduce unnecessary waste and costs.

Adam Ford, continuous improvements manager at Lear, said, ‘We wanted to find ways of encouraging our operatives to come forward with suggestions on how to improve not only themselves but the business. That’s why we’ve developed this training programme with Gateshead College and Cidori, to give apprentices the skill set as well as the opportunity to make improvements that will have a significant impact. In the initial phase, we’ve seen a rise in productivity, a reduction in scrap and an increase in staff engagement.’

The training equips apprentices with the skills, knowledge and understanding to meet the challenges and changing needs of a modern production environment. It also allows them to work towards a business improvement techniques qualification.

Ivan Jepson, director of business development at Gateshead College, said, ‘We’re thrilled to be working with Lear on the roll-out of their national apprenticeship programme, which will see them cement their position as a market leader in the automotive supply chain.’