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The ‘Nissan Generation Next Apprenticeship Academy’ to create 100 jobs to help to future-proof the motor industry

Nissan Ireland Chief Executive James McCarthy, announced the Nissan Ireland Nationwide Apprenticeship Scheme is open for applications from the ‘technicians of tomorrow’. This innovative new apprenticeship scheme aims to create 100 jobs over the next four years. Applications will be accepted from Monday 2nd February until March 9th and are open to anyone over the age of 16 focussed on a career in cars with industry leading training. Successful applicants will be enrolled in the 7 Phase SOLAS Motor Apprenticeship programme, attend 3 off-site training phases and work on placement in a Nissan Network Dealer. In addition, throughout their apprenticeship they will be supported by the Nissan Ireland Training Academy ensuring they reach the highest standards possible.

“We are introducing this scheme to tackle the identified short to medium term, skilled labour shortage in our industry,” says McCarthy, “With the increase of car buyers choosing new cars for their value, economy, safety and environmental merits, the days of the gifted amateur are over; we need to future-proof Nissan Ireland’s technical staff to have technicians as highly trained as our cars technology demands. Over the next four years, we see opportunities for up to 100 full time jobs for trained technicians”

What makes this apprenticeship scheme less ordinary is Nissan Ireland’s constant encouragement of trainees throughout the familiar apprenticeship model to succeed. And to know that on successful completion of their apprenticeship, top scoring graduates will be given the opportunity to further their career to include scholarships into D.I.T Automotive third-level degree courses while employed full-time and advancement into the Nissan Generation Next academy, where they will receive Nissan Master Technician training (including entry into NISTEC Nissan’s world-wide skills competition).

Nissan Ireland Training and Technical Manager, Ken Ward – who having trained as an apprentice himself - sees the value of offering young apprentices a career plan and job security alongside a higher level of technical ability and qualification. “My experience in the motor industry has given me a clear understanding that the future of the industry is reliant on educated capable technicians,” he explains, “Technicians infused with the ability to both understand and master existing and future technology associated with an innovative brand like Nissan and the automotive industry in general.”

With the introduction of ground breaking products like the Nissan Qashqai, Ireland’s top selling crossover since its introduction in 2007, and the 100% Electric Nissan LEAF, this apprenticeship scheme offers the next generation of motor technicians the opportunity to work with Nissan’s new motoring technologies and advance their career with a truly exciting brand that is leading the way in motoring innovation, as well learn the traditional skills of motor mechanics.

Joint Project manager with Ken Ward in the development of the scheme, Michael O’Connor, Technical Trainer and Technical Support at Nissan Ireland, says, “Apprenticeships in our industry play a vital role in providing the master craftspeople and industry leaders of the future. At Nissan Ireland, we fully realise this and we feel strongly that it is time that we redefine the role of Apprentices in industry and provide parity of esteem of the apprenticeship model to traditional career path routes."

SOLAS director Ray Kelly adds, “We are delighted to see today’s announcement from Nissan Ireland. Innovative programmes such as this, where employers are engaging with the Apprenticeship system to train people for the future, are crucial as the economy recovers.” Applications for the Nissan Generation Next Apprenticeship Academy scheme can be made by applying directly to Nissan Generation Next Apprentice Academy, Nissan Ireland, Cedar House, Parkwest Business Park, Dublin 12 or to generationnext@nissan.ie and online at nissan.ie from Feb 2nd.

NISSAN IRELAND • Nissan Ireland is an independently owned subsidiary of Nissan.
• The company, headquartered in Dublin, directly employs 55 people and has a network of 39 dealerships employing in excess of 1,100 people nationwide
• Nissan Ireland car sales represent 7.3% of the total Irish Car Market
• The Nissan Qashqai is the best-selling crossover in Ireland, with 20,000 sold since launch. The new generation Qashqai, 2014 was named Irish Car of the Year, WhatCar Car of the Year, APMP Car of the Year, Fleet Car of the Year and The Sunday Times Best Car Buy for 2015
• Spokespeople available for interview
James McCarthy, CEO Nissan Ireland
Michael O’Connor, Technical Trainer, Nissan Ireland
Ken Ward, Technical and Training Manager Nissan Ireland

NISSAN GENERATION NEXT APPRENTICESHIP ACADEMY
• Application is open to all - aged 16 and over
• To qualify for SOLAS apprenticeship, you must secure employment with an employer
• The number of places for apprenticeships is dependent on applications to individual participating dealers
• The closing date for applications is Monday 9th March.

Apprenticeships in Ireland
• An Apprenticeship is the recognised means by which people are trained to become craftspeople in Ireland. The main craft trades have been designated by SOLAS, the further education and training authority in Ireland.
• Apprenticeships come within the scope of the Statutory Apprenticeship system, which is organised by SOLAS in co-operation with the Department of Education and Skills, employers and unions.
• An apprenticeship usually alternates between off-the-job training in an education centre and on-the-job training at your employer's workplace. An apprenticeship generally lasts for 4 years, during which time 3 different periods are spent in off-the-job training.
• Generally, the first off-the-job training phase will take place in an Education and Training Board (ETB) Training Centre while the subsequent off-the-job training phases will take place in an Institute of Technology.
• Guideline salaries http://www.fas.ie/en/Allowances+and+Grants/Apprentice+Wages.htm

Apprenticeships in the Motor Industry - SIMI / SOLAS report Q4, 2014
• Currently 1,623 Motor apprentices in Ireland
• 66% are post Leaving Certificate
• 27% are post Junior Certificate
• Just 7% are non-school leavers
• 377 apprentices were taken on in 2014 (to end September 2014)
• 323 apprentices expected to be taken on in the 6 months from September 2014