Nexperia UK Ltd have partnered with leading workforce development and lean implementation specialists Sigma UK Ltd and Roundhouse Corporate, the apprenticeship division of Derby College, to launch the Nexperia Skills Academy.
Sigma and Roundhouse Corporate are developing a dedicated training facility at Nexperia's plant in Pepper Road which will incorporate purpose-built classroom space and product related practical training workshops.
Core to the innovative Nexperia Skills Academy launch will be the recruitment of at least 60 new apprentices during 2018, which then allows the core worker programme to be released off the Job to develop additional skills.
Recruitment is underway for the first group of apprentices who are due to start work in early April. As each apprentice completes the initial Academy 12-week training, they will be placed with an existing employee to continue their development in role.
Once competent in the role, the existing employee will start their own six week re-training programme before returning to their role and progressing the apprentice to move to the next job – and creating capacity for further colleagues to take up the training opportunities.
Staff across the business will complete nationally-recognised qualifications including City & Guilds level 2 Certificate in Manufacturing Practices and Diplomas in Performing Manufacturing Operations, English, Maths and ICT qualifications, specific industry-related training and softer skills such as personal learning.
The one-year apprenticeship will then lead to further training or permanent positions.
Nexperia Site Manager Jeremy Morris explained: "The Nexperia Academy launch is a crucial investment in our people, the company's future and in our local community.
"As well as developing the core skills of our existing workforce, recruiting more young people will be vital to develop a new generation of talent with an aspiration to work in our industry.
"As manufacturing in the UK is growing at a rapidly increasing rate, there is a widening skills gap within the sector which must be addressed.
"We thoroughly believe that, as a business, we have a responsibility to the local community to provide these job opportunities.
"Apprenticeship recruitment will be integral to the new Nexperia Academy. As they are recruited and trained over the year, the additional capacity will give us the opportunity to free current staff to retrain.
"This makes good business sense. Customers are keen to work with suppliers who are demonstrating that they are developing their workforce and are not standing still.
"Employee development and engagement is therefore key to the future of customer quality and delivery."
Sigma will ensure the employer and the apprentice are matched effectively to bridge any skills gaps - based on the plant' operational requirements and ensure that bespoke, commodity relevant workforce training elements of the Academy are embedded in the core of the programme.
Sigma Managing Director Brendan Hand continued: "Nexperia are already outstanding, high quality manufacturers of world class products and this skills initiative will ensure they transfer knowledge, develop a true talent pipeline whilst increase productivity and efficiency by getting the entire business to deliver new results.
"This is a forward thinking company and have a clear vision of what they need to be competitive in the market and I know this will be an outstanding success for everyone involved.
"Sigma, with our customers and college partners, have designed new manpower and skills solutions and created over thousands of jobs for young people as level two Lean Manufacturing Operators and in excess of 2,500 core worker apprenticeships all through utilising Levy, funding the apprenticeship frameworks that fund our model."
Roundhouse Corporate will handle all the recruitment, training and assessment of apprentices. Deputy Principal April Hayhurst concluded: "This is about creating a pipeline of talent for the future of Nexperia.
"The company is utilising its Apprenticeship Levy in the best possible way by combining skills training for existing staff with the recruitment and training of young people under apprenticeship programmes.
"It is therefore an innovative way of bringing new talent into the business whilst developing the skills and competencies of the existing workforce to meet the technical needs of the company."
Details of apprenticeship vacancies at Nexperia are available on the Nexperia webiste here.