Chancellor unveils £2.8million Nissan training boost as part of North East plans

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NISSAN is to plough almost £3million into staff training as the Sunderland plant gears up to begin production of its first model for the car giant’s luxury Infiniti marque.

On a visit to the factory today, Chancellor George Osborne announced £1.4million of Government funding which the company will match to create a £2.8million project to support intensive training for 1,742 staff.

Nissan is one of six companies selected under the government’s Employer Ownership of Skills Fund, which helps UK engineering employers address skills shortages.

“It’s exciting news that Nissan are launching a new car brand in the UK for the first time in 23 years and the government is making sure it provides the support it can to deliver this,” said Mr Osborne.

“Our long term economic plan for the North East is all about building on the area’s strengths like manufacturing and engineering and the funding will ensure that companies like Nissan have the right skills base to continue to innovate and grow.”

During his visit, the Chancellor met with Nissan executives who explained how the funding will be used to ensure the successful launch of Infiniti in the UK.

Chancellor George Osborne being shown car manufacturing during a tour of Nissan, Sunderland on Friday.

Chancellor George Osborne being shown car manufacturing during a tour of Nissan, Sunderland on Friday.

Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nissan’s vice president of UK Manufacturing, said: “The start of production for Infiniti later this year will be a major milestone for Sunderland.

“It will be the first new car brand to be manufactured on this scale in the UK for 23 years and represents a major investment in both our people and facilities.

“We were delighted to welcome the Chancellor to Sunderland and to explain to him how the Employee Ownership of Skills Fund will support the up-skilling of our workforce and help ensure the successful launch of the Infiniti brand in the UK.”

The news came after the Chancellor had outlined a long term economic plan for the North East during a speech in Stockton, which included plans to add an extra £6 billion to the region’s economy by 2030, create 50,000 new jobs and deliver £4.5bn investment in transport in the North East.

The start of production for Infiniti later this year will be a major milestone for Sunderland

Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nissan’s vice president of UK Manufacturing

Nissan today also launched its Maintenance Technician apprenticeship scheme for 2015 – the five year apprenticeship scheme for 25 young people that has been running since the plant first opened in 1986.

The application period closes on March 20. To apply, visit www.careersatnissan.co.uk

Chancellor George Osborne being shown car manufacturing during a tour of Nissan, Sunderland on Friday.

Chancellor George Osborne being shown car manufacturing during a tour of Nissan, Sunderland on Friday.

Chancellor George Osborne being shown car manufacturing during a tour of Nissan, Sunderland on Friday.

Chancellor George Osborne being shown car manufacturing during a tour of Nissan, Sunderland on Friday.

Chancellor George Osborne being shown car manufacturing during a tour of Nissan, Sunderland on Friday.

Chancellor George Osborne being shown car manufacturing during a tour of Nissan, Sunderland on Friday.

Chancellor George Osborne being shown car manufacturing during a tour of Nissan, Sunderland on Friday.

Chancellor George Osborne being shown car manufacturing during a tour of Nissan, Sunderland on Friday.

Chancellor George Osborne being shown car manufacturing during a tour of Nissan, Sunderland on Friday.

Chancellor George Osborne being shown car manufacturing during a tour of Nissan, Sunderland on Friday.

Chancellor George Osborne being shown car manufacturing during a tour of Nissan, Sunderland on Friday.

Chancellor George Osborne being shown car manufacturing during a tour of Nissan, Sunderland on Friday.