MINI Plant Oxford has hosted a special day visit by career advisors and teachers from local schools, as well as Business Secretary Vince Cable as part of the government's See Inside Manufacturing initiative which aims to draw young people's attention to manufacturing careers.
The visitors were shown the range of opportunities available in MINI's manufacturing processes as well as being given details on the apprentice schemes which run at the plant.
Vince Cable commented: "The See Inside Manufacturing programme is an important step in giving teachers and careers advisers the opportunity to see, first hand, the essential role that industry plays across the UK to help us achieve the sort of sustainable and balanced economic growth that the country needs.
"The Government is investing in more apprenticeships than ever before. Together with industry we must inspire more young people to see manufacturing and engineering as a viable and exciting career choice.
"We also need to ensure that UK manufacturing can take on its competitors head on and make the next decade one of the most dynamic and entrepreneurial periods in our history."
Dr Jurgen Hedrich, managing director of MINI Plant Oxford, said: "The training and development of young people is a vital aspect of our role and responsibility as an employer, and is particularly pertinent as the plant prepares for the next generation of MINI.
"The apprenticeship scheme benefits the business by developing highly-skilled employees that are perfectly matched to our operational needs. Apprenticeships are highly valued by us for the unique blend of knowledge, skills and practical experience they offer. For that reason they are an attractive career path to students considering their future employment options in a manufacturing sector that offers so many exciting possibilities."
Currently, 100 apprentices work across MINI's production plants throughout the UK, with training leading to an NVQ level three qualification. Apprentices can progress up to degree level.
Charlotte Jupp who is currently in her third year of a Human Resources apprenticeship at MINI Plant Oxford, said: "I am thoroughly enjoying my time at the plant. Not only am I getting a great business education, but I have been privileged to be involved a number of high profile events. I hope my experiences to date will have a positive influence on the visitors today and motivate them to direct more young people into manufacturing."
As part of the See Inside Manufacturing event, BMW Group UK made their UK production plants available for visits to over 120 career advisors and teachers.
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