NEXT generation automotive skills are set to be engineered to perfection, thanks to a new partnership providing careers guidance to the region’s young people.

Sunderland-based software company Geek Talent, has teamed up with the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) to create an online ‘GoCareer’ portal for young people to learn about careers across the sector.

The digital careers guide – which sits on the NEAA website www.northeastautomotivealliance.com or can be accessed at http://automotive.gocareer.io/ – uses career profiles created by real people working in the automotive sector in this region, to produce a job-DNA capturing the skills the potential new recruits must develop to pursue specific career pathways.

The new platform will help to develop a stronger skills pipeline of people interested in automotive careers, which have become an increasing regional priority, with plans progressing for a 100-hectare International Advanced Manufacturing Park in Sunderland and South Tyneside.

Dominic Murphy, founder of Geek Talent, said: “The automotive sector in the North East is expected to experience significant growth over the coming years.  It is vital that careers advice guides the next generation to roles that will be needed to meet demand in the future – this will allow us to build sustainable industries and to stay at the forefront of this sector.

“GoCareer offers accurate careers information, that is completely impartial and is based on real data and insights from people working in the field, so we know that, by using it, young people will be given a clear road map into industry.  We expect it to make a huge difference.”

The idea came about after Dominic met the NEAA to discuss how the firm’s digital careers technology could be developed and utilised to assist the region’s thriving automotive and manufacturing sector.

Paul Butler, chief executive of the NEAA, said: “We have seen an increasing focus on STEM in schools, which has been a huge step forward in meeting the skills needs of the automotive sector, but we still must do more to encourage young people to pursue what is a highly-rewarding career choice.

“This platform will allow us to reach a huge number of young people – not only through the work of NEAA but also through our members, who engage with schools and students day-in-day-out.  It will allow us to give young people in this region vital information about the route they can take to a successful career, something that is essential if we want to grow the economic contribution of this sector.”

With manufacturers sharing accurate employee profiles, capturing the routes their staff have taken into the sector and the skills they have, the result is an accurate assessment of what a young person will need to study or achieve in order to move into and progress within the industry.

Stuart Sanderson, manager – HR at Unipres UK, said the platform would be a real help for businesses that are looking to bring through future talent.

He said: “This initiative supports Unipres’s involvement with local schools and our Industrial Cadet programme which aims to educate and promote to young students the opportunities and career pathways in the automotive and wider sectors.

“Giving an insight into real world role profiles will greatly assist in crystallising student decisions to secure an exciting future in the automotive arena.”

Billy Webber, chief operating officer of Sunderland Software City, which aims to support businesses to make use of software and digital to help tackle any challenges they may have, said: “It’s fantastic to see how technology is underpinning an initiative that could truly transform skills supply for the automotive sector in this region.

“The Geek Talent team really is at the cutting edge of innovation, transforming careers advice, which has come under heavy criticism over recent years.  The potential of its GoCareer platform to revolutionise the way we provide advice and guidance to young people is huge, and this project with NEAA is one that we are certain will positively impact on skills supply in this region.”

Talks are also underway to explore how the technology could be used by Sunderland and South Tyneside Councils, as they gear up to meet the skills needs of the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP), set to create more than 5,200 jobs by 2026.

Irene Lucas CBE, Chief Executive of Sunderland City Council, said that the team behind IAMP was keen to find new and innovative ways to ensure the skills needs of investors attracted to the site.  She said: ” Sunderland’s automotive sector is world-class, with a thriving supply chain not only producing but researching and developing new products in the city, our aim of cross fertilisation between key sectors in the city to collaborate on pioneering solutions and industry-changing projects are helping to build a knowledge economy eco-system. We anticipate that IAMP, which we are delivering in partnership with South Tyneside Council, will create a new dimension for the region’s tech and innovation sector as well as attracting huge interest from automotive, advanced manufacturing, and research and development investors looking to locate on the site that is close to Nissan.

“We are ahead of the game in this region when it comes to innovating to improve the skills pipeline, and this collaborative approach is proof of how the ingenuity and tech know-how of Geek Talent is coming together with experience and insight of Nissan and NEAA to create a powerful tool, that will ensure our region has a steady flow of highly skilled people coming through to resource new investors we expect IAMP to attract.”

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