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We want to ensure the region’s automotive businesses remain competitive and are ready to adopt emerging new technologies and meet future needs for electrification with the chance to upskill and reskill staff to help attract investment.

What are we doing

To support this ambition, the West Midlands Combined Authority launched its Automotive Skills Plan that highlights the following priority areas:

  1. Creating a coherent and seamless automotive skills capacity and capability that meets the needs of employers
  2. Developing capacity and capability to meeting future skills requirements
  3. Growing Automotive Apprenticeships in the West Midlands

An employer-led Automotive Skills Taskforce has been created to support the delivery of the plan.

Alongside the plan, a £3m training fund has been set up to boost skills.

What people have said about the skills plan:

Alan Yee, engineering director at Contechs automotive engineering firm, said: “From the beginning of education in primary school all the way to university, we are not good at preparing the population for requirements of engineering careers in the modern automotive industry, for much of what was taught in the 1970s right through to the last decade on this subject is totally out of date now.”

The Automotive Skills Plan will help support the industry to engage with this new emerging technology – including automated, connected and electric vehicles and the digitisation of manufacturing.

Ron Lee – Chair

Ron Lee worked for Jaguar Land Rover during a 35-year career in the sector. He is now heading up the WMCA’s Automotive Skills Taskforce, which is providing strategic leadership across the region to tackle the skills challenges facing the industry.

After a successful career in product innovation and launch for numerous original equipment manufacturers and with many suppliers, Mr Lee now advises companies on the strategy, key decisions, technical structures and methods to manufacture new products.