Skills

North East England has a highly-skilled, loyal workforce trained in the very latest manufacturing processes and techniques, with exceptionally low attrition rates meaning that companies can be confident to invest in training their staff.

The automotive sector directly employs more than 25,000 skilled people and 115,000 are employed in wider manufacturing roles. This ensures that international OEMs such as Nissan, Caterpillar and Komatsu are able to attract the right talent and skills required for their global operations. Our workforce is so efficient that Nissan’s Sunderland plant has been Europe’s most productive car plant for the past seven years, based on the number of cars produced annually for every person employed.

North East England’s talent pool is strengthened by a wealth of students specialising in manufacturing and engineering subjects. There are more than 100,000 students in the region’s five universities, with over half studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, ensuring a large talent pool of future industry-ready employees. 

Our five universities and higher education institutions work hand-in-hand with industry and business networks to develop and deliver bespoke training courses, giving the workers of the future the technical skills they need for the automotive sector. Local colleges and universities offer over 300 advanced manufacturing-related courses, many of which are integrally linked to the prospective jobs market. The Institute for Automotive and Manufacturing Advanced Practice (AMAP) at Sunderland University, for example, provides access to cutting-edge industry expertise.

Gateshead College is a valued training provider for Nissan and several of its major suppliers. It develops bespoke training packages in dedicated training facilities, including its flagship Skills Academy for Automotive, Engineering, Manufacturing and Logistics.

The Skills Academy for Sustainable Manufacturing and Innovation (SASMI) is a state-of-the-art facility for training workers in the low-carbon automotive manufacturing sector, covering all aspects of the industry’s skills needs and training the workforce of the future to make Nissan’s market-leading electric vehicles.