Bentley Launches Skill Development Program

Bentley Motors will launch a new Upskilling program to strengthen its focus on training and development.

According to a recent press release from the company, the new program will broaden and enhance the skills of current Bentley colleagues.  The luxury vehicle brand is investing in new training tools and facilities to grow its current workforce and will recruit people to focus on the core competencies of wood, body, trim and engine.  They will also be redesigning their apprenticeship scheme.

Dr. Anne Reinhart, Bentley’s member of the board for human resources, said, “The automotive industry moves at such a fast pace it’s vital that we not only bring fresh thinking into the business, but we continually develop our own talent. We are working on the next generation of Bentleys and it’s important that our colleagues share the same commitment to performance, quality, and engineering excellence that our cars possess.”

Reinhart continued by saying, “That’s exactly why we are investing in our new Upskilling program, to ensure we help our colleagues be as good as they can be, with every opportunity to develop their skills. The introduction of training islands, taking advantage of the expertise of master trainers and adopting a dual education approach are just some of the tools we will use to ensure a strong skills base continues throughout the business.”      

Ten training islands will be introduced within Bentley’s main production facility in Crewe, which manufactured a record 10,120 cars last year.  Crewe is home to all of the company’s operations, including design, R&D, engineering and production of Bentley’s three model lines, Continental, Flying Spur and Mulsanne.   About 3,700 people work at the facility.

The islands will provide “near the job” training, removing employees from their usual “on the job” process for instructional sessions with a number of mentors who are experts in their field.

In addition to the mentors, Bentley will introduce master trainers, skilled workers who will develop and deliver training curriculum to Bentley’s latest group of apprentices, passing on their skills to a new generation and keeping competencies within the business.

Next month, 51 apprentices will join Bentley, the largest intake in ten years.  40 of them will be part of a new manufacturing program focused on strengthening core skills as Bentley prepares for the introduction of the Bentley SUV in 2016.

This new program sees the application of dual education through a practical and theoretical method to vocational training that is based on competence profiles and placement within chosen areas of manufacturing. 

Additionally, Bentley is playing a crucial role in bringing a University Technical College to the Crewe facility in 2016.  The new college will offer an exciting and inspiring education for young individuals seeking a road to employment and skill development. 

Bentley’s collaboration with UTC Crewe serves as the next step in Bentley’s focus on talent development and continuous improvement.  The company already offers trainee programs including apprenticeships and graduate schemes, nearly 150 work experience placements each year and has a school liaison program that provides workshops in local schools.

The company was also recently named one of Britain’s Top Employers for the third year in a row by the Top Employers Institute.  The Institute highlighted Bentley’s dedication to the personal development, working environment and employee culture of the 3,700 colleagues who work at the Crewe headquarters.     

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