Boldon automotive supplier gears up workforce after winning major Nissan contract

(Left to right) Takayuki Furuuchi, managing director of Faltec Europe; Paul Turbitt, operations manager at Faltec Europe; Iain Nixon, executive director commercial activity at Sunderland College; David Myers, production supervisor at Faltec Europe; and new apprentices.
(Left to right) Takayuki Furuuchi, managing director of Faltec Europe; Paul Turbitt, operations manager at Faltec Europe; Iain Nixon, executive director commercial activity at Sunderland College; David Myers, production supervisor at Faltec Europe; and new apprentices.

An automotive supplier is gearing up its workforce for expansion after winning a key contract with car giant Nissan.

Faltec Europe has been chosen by the plant to supply body and trim parts for its new electric Leaf, which will begin production by the end of the year.

These apprentices will be important to our success in the launch of production for the new Nissan Leaf in December

Glen Sidebotham, senior manager sales at Faltec Europe

The Boldon-based manufacturer – which already supplies parts for Nissan’s Juke, Qashqai and Infiniti models – has joined forces with Sunderland College and Sora Group to recruit and train a team of apprentices who will be working on the new contract.

This partnership has resulted in 15 young people securing paint and polish production apprenticeships on Faltec Europe’s new production line, after completing a bespoke training course delivered by Sunderland College.

Glen Sidebotham, senior manager sales at Faltec Europe, said: “We are greatly appreciative of the joint activity between Sunderland College and Sora Group in relation to the training and recruitment of a number of apprentices for our business. 

“These apprentices will be important to our success in the launch of production for the new Nissan Leaf in December.

“Both parties were able to create a bespoke training plan that demonstrated a clear understanding of the needs of our business.

“The level of training and apprentices supplied to us have been of a high calibre and we are very pleased to have welcomed our new recruits into the business.”

The apprentices underwent a rigorous screening programme before beginning a specialist paint application course, which was delivered at Sunderland College’s multimillion-pound advanced manufacturing and engineering centre at City Campus.

Designed to replicate the company’s working environment, apprentices have been trained on a purpose-built production line with Faltec Europe’s products to ensure they are fully prepared for their new roles.

Iain Nixon, Sunderland College’s executive director for commercial activity, said: “We have worked very closely with Faltec Europe to devise a programme that is shaped entirely around the requirements of the business, and this holistic approach has been met with an extremely positive response.

“The apprentices have learnt in a practical setting that mimics Faltec Europe’s working environment, and every stage of the training has been modelled on the procedures and high standards set by the company.

“We are providing a level of specialism training and support that is unrivalled and is designed to equip the apprentices with the skills and knowledge they need to hit the ground running in their new roles.”