The future of Aston Martin’s manufacturing operations at the brand’s global headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire, is being secured through significant investment in young people, as well as new facilities.
9 January 2015, Gaydon: The future of Aston Martin’s manufacturing operations at the brand’s global headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire, is being secured through significant investment in young people, as well as new facilities.
The latest intake of apprentices joined the business recently as Aston Martin continues to develop, expand and upskill for a bright future ahead.
Twelve apprentices have joined Aston Martin in recent weeks, with a further two clay modelling apprentices starting on 5 January. Simply by securing a place on the sports car maker’s scheme the new starters may already regard themselves as high achievers, too, having been selected from the more than 600 applications that Aston Martin receives each year.
The brand’s Manufacturing Training Manager Maggie McElroy-Gray said: “The new recruits bring our total apprenticeship scheme up to almost 40, which shows a significant commitment to investing in the future of the business.”
She explained: “As a maturing company, we need to bring ‘young blood’ into the business. It is vital that we are able to transfer the extensive skills and knowledge of our workforce to ensure continuity whilst also embracing new technology and advanced methods of manufacturing.”
Aston Martin employs apprentices in Product Development (Trim, Body Engineering, Electrical Engineering), Maintenance, Manufacturing Systems and Support, Trim Shop, Paint Operations and Design, where the ‘best of the best’ of tomorrow’s automotive design talent has been recruited for two clay sculpting apprenticeships.
The apprentices in the Aston Martin Design department will, quite literally, help shape the future of the great British sports car brand.
Importantly, the business also recruited its first craft apprentices in 2014 – developing artisan trim and sewing skills within the Trim Shop. The opportunity to expand into craft areas comes as a result of the brand’s work with the Sector Skills Council to re-instate qualifications, updating them to the latest standard to reflect a balance between traditional craft skills and cutting edge technology.
All apprentices on the Aston Martin scheme complete a four-year programme which begins with a Level 2 Apprenticeship to provide foundation learning and an introduction to the Manufacturing environment, before moving on to a Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship.
Recently, training at Aston Martin was concentrated entirely in-house, rather than sending the apprentices off-site for part of their course. With lessons now commencing at 6.30am, Maggie McElroy-Gray said: “The move to on-site learning with Walsall College means the courses now fit seamlessly with our business operations.”
As part of a Government-driven review of modern apprenticeships, the company is also developing degree-level programmes. Maggie added: “Our expectation is that many of our current apprentices will be able to progress to, and complete, a Bachelor of Engineering degree.”
Aston Martin CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, is a strong advocate of apprenticeships having started his career as a technical apprentice. He said: “The future success of the business lies, in part, with our ability both to maintain and develop our traditional craftsmanship skills and to continue to explore new technologies and ways of working.
“Apprenticeships are a great way to ensure we can do that, and I’m very happy to see such a vibrant programme of learning and development here.”