Sunderland’s Nissan plant gets thumbs up from Ofsted for training

Painting the cars at Nissan.
Painting the cars at Nissan.

Ofsted bosses have given the thumbs up to Sunderland’s car plant.

Nissan is celebrating being rated as good by the education watchdogs for the training it provides for staff.

A trainee getting hands on at Nissan.

A trainee getting hands on at Nissan.

Inspectors visited the Washington centre this summer and rated it as good overall as an independent learning provider.

It also said the car giant was outstanding for its apprenticeship programme.

They said the leadership and management, outcomes for learners, quality of teaching and personal development are all good.

The one area that was rated as requiring improvement was the adult learning programmes.

Many of them have gone on to hold senior leadership positions

Mark Pennifold

Mark Pennifold, human resources director at the Sunderland plant, said: “We are proud of our recent Ofsted result as it recognises that we strive to help our people be the best that they can be.

“At Nissan we put our people at the foundation of everything we do and pride ourselves on seeking to provide first class training opportunities. That is why we will also use all the comments and feedback from the report to ensure our learning and development activities continue to evolve and improve.

“We are particularly pleased with the feedback we received regarding our apprenticeship schemes – they are vital to the ongoing success of the plant and many of them have gone on to hold senior leadership positions within Nissan.”

In the report inspectors said: “Senior leaders and managers have a very good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the provision.

“They use this understanding effectively to make improvements to the apprenticeship programme.

“Apprentices participate in highly effective training that goes beyond the minimum requirements for the qualification.

“Apprentices successfully develop the high-level skills that they need to work for a global vehicle manufacturer, including on the vehicle production line, in engineering maintenance, and in business administration.”

The inspection found almost all apprentices complete their qualifications within the expected timescales, and gain sustainable employment and advancement in their careers with Nissan.

Inspectors said the apprentices and most learners take part enthusiastically in learning, their confidence improves quickly and are able to tackle increasingly complex tasks and actvities.

They said: “Tutors, assessors and supervisors are very well qualified in automotive manufacturing techniques, and they use their experience well to ensure that industry-level standards are reflected in their interactions with apprentices.”

However, inspectors noted that a significant minority of adult learners do not progress rapidly enough, attendance on elements of the courses are too low and too many do not achieve their qualifications.