Sunderland College teams up with Envision to train apprentices to build next generation of electric cars

World leading green-tech company Envision Group and Sunderland College will create dozens of manufacturing apprenticeship opportunities as part of a billion-pound boost to the UK’s automotive industry.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 4:21 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 4:21 pm
Sunderland College has teamed up with Envision to help train apprentices for the company's £450m battery manufacturing plant. (Left to right) Chris Caygill Managing Director; apprentice Dalton Cummings, Iain Nixon, Education Partnership North East Vice Principal for Partnerships and Commercial, apprentice Molly Craggs and Derek Enfield, Vice President Manufacturing SCM. Picture by Tom Banks

Plans have been submitted by Envision’s battery technology division, Envision AESC, for a £450m battery manufacturing plant at the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) in Washington.

If approved, the proposal would create more than 750 green jobs and safeguard 300 more at the company’s Sunderland base, as well as providing apprenticeships for local youngsters.

Sunderland College is working with Envision to recruit Maintenance Technician Apprentices to boost its highly skilled teams and help produce current and future generation lithium-Ion batteries for the expanding electric vehicle market.

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Iain Nixon, Vice Principal for Partnerships and Commercial at Education Partnership North East, which includes Sunderland College, said: “We are delighted that Envision AESC is investing to expand their production of lithium-ion batteries here in Sunderland and look forward to strengthening our established and successful partnership.

“The expanded Apprenticeship Programme will support the creation of new green economy jobs which will enable young people and adults across the North East to build and secure a sustainable career with a forward looking and growing business like Envision AESC.”

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In July Envision AESC announced a partnership with Nissan and Sunderland City Council to build an electrical vehicle hub to support next-generation electrical vehicle production and accelerate the transition to net-zero carbon mobility.

With state-of-the-art technology and powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, it is hoped the Gigafactory will pave the way for potential future investment of £1.8bn, generating a further 4,500 new jobs through associated parts manufacture.

Envision AESC UK Managing Director, Chris Caygill, added: “One of the main positive outcomes from the Gigafactory investment is the creation of 750 new high value jobs in this growing technology sector.

“Hiring and developing apprentices is a key part of our strategy to ensure our future workforce is ready to support the significant scale up in our operations. “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Sunderland College who will deliver the training programme for our apprentices, including the first cohort of 20 who will be joining this September.”

So far more than 150 applications have been received for the positions, with 20 apprentices appointed to start in the coming weeks.

Councillor Graeme Miller, Leader of Sunderland City Council, added: “Envision AESC will create high quality jobs for local people – green jobs, producing green products, supported by green energy to power green cars.

“We’re delighted that this project is moving forward and will continue to play a pivotal, proactive role in supporting job creation in the area.”

The 150-hectare IAMP was created by South Tyneside Council and Sunderland City Council in 2014 to attract business investment to the region.

George Mansbridge, Corporate Director for regeneration and environment at South Tyneside Council, added: “It’s a huge step forward and we’re thrilled that the project is moving forward with this planning application that will pave the way to create a facility that will initially create hundreds and then thousands of new jobs for our residents.”

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