• Average starting salary for UK engineering graduates more than 10% higher than other graduates.
    • 146,000 people are employed in UK automotive manufacturing.
    • Automotive apprenticeships ranked within top five training frameworks for young people in the UK.
    • Gross Value Added (GVA) per UK automotive employee is estimated to be £61,100, compared to £35,000 across the rest of the economy.

    Record numbers of young people are embarking on careers in the UK automotive industry, with more than 14,000 recruited into apprenticeships in 2011 and almost two thirds of UK automotive companies recruiting new talent from schools and colleges to grow the sector’s skills base.

    The figures, released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) to mark the launch of ‘National Apprenticeship Week’, demonstrate industry’s commitment to attracting young people to careers within industry, boosting its 737,000 highly-skilled workforce.

    “The UK automotive industry offers fantastic career and skills opportunities for young people across a huge variety of disciplines from design, engineering, supply chain, manufacturing to retail and aftermarket”, said SMMT Chief Executive, Paul Everitt. “Despite challenging economic conditions, the industry took on more than 14,000 new apprentices in 2011, demonstrating its commitment to attracting the brightest and best talent to the sector.”

    Across the automotive workforce, the industry places significant value in up-skilling its workforce, with 64% of UK companies investing in training for their employees and automotive manufacturing employers providing on average 2.9 days of training per employee each year.

    At an evening reception today, senior industry leaders and politicians, including the Minister of State for Further Education and Skills, will celebrate the wealth of opportunities open to automotive apprentices and the government and industry-led momentum to guide young people towards a rewarding career within the automotive industry.