Bentley Motors is taking on a large number of apprentices as part of a major vocational training drive as it seeks to grow its operations in Crewe. The manufacturer has announced over 140 new jobs at its headquarters, in response to strong sales.
These jobs will comprise 90 engineering positions working on new vehicle projects and 51 new apprentices, which is the biggest single intake of trainees made by the company in over a decade. The news follows on from the luxury car maker's announcement that it delivered 10,120 cars in 2013, representing the largest ever total in its 95-year history.
The apprenticeship programme is part of a drive by Bentley Motors to reach 15,000 deliveries a year by 2018, which represents a significant increase in output on the current levels. The approach will see the introduction of a tailored education programme that bases vocational training on competence profiles and dedicated placements across various manufacturing sectors.
At the same time, the additional engineers will work on expanding the manufacturer's range of models, with £800 million expected to be invested in such development over the next three years. As with any undertaking of this size, the project will require engineers with specialisms in a number of key areas, including chassis, powertrain, electrical, body and trim.
Among the pool of new apprentices, a selection of 40 will be added to a new dedicated manufacturing scheme that will focus on improving and strengthening the core manufacturing skills base at Bentley. This is part of a long-term drive by the company - that will run alongside it's short-term plans for growth - to ensure that it does not fall behind in the manufacturing sector or lose ground to competitors, either in the UK or abroad.
This decision comes in the runup to the introduction of a brand-new model, the Bentley SUV, which is due to be launched around the world in 2016. Application for the apprenticeship and engineering positions is now possible through the company's careers portal.