Throughout June, around 30 UK automotive sites will open their doors to young people, as part of government’s ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ initiative, aiming to challenge perceptions of the industry and encourage more students to consider a career in engineering.

Automotive companies across the UK will host a range of hands-on activities designed to highlight the career opportunities within one of the UK’s most diverse industries. Part of a comprehensive national programme of events, the UK automotive sector is set to inspire the next generation of budding engineers.

Launched by government and supported through the Automotive Council, the motor industry pioneered the very first ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ initiative last year, providingstudents with a valuable insight to modern manufacturing.

The initiative aims to challenge perceptions that the UK has an outdated manufacturing sector and encourage more young people to take up Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, in order to boost the UK’s skills base. Students and teachers who responded to a survey of last year’s automotive pilot were exceptionally positive leading Business Secretary, Vince Cable, to announce its return and expansion to the aerospace, defence, and food and drink sectors.

Speaking on behalf of the automotive sector, Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Despite the economic challenges, these are exciting times for everyone in the UK automotive sector. Our industry continues to attract high levels of international investment, maintaining the country’s position right at the heart of global low carbon technology innovation. With investment, government support and a wealth of new innovative products set to be built here, there’s never been a better time to pursue an automotive career.”

Business Minister Mark Prisk said, “See Inside Manufacturing is about changing perceptions of modern manufacturing and showing young people, teachers and careers advisers that the industry offers interesting and rewarding job opportunities.

“I’m delighted that SMMT and the automotive sector are once again pledging their support to the programme following the successful trial last year. It’s encouraging to have iconic names like Allied Vehicles, Aston Martin, BMW, Honda and Jaguar Land Rover all signing up to take part.

“Last year thousands of people got to see just what exciting opportunities lie in the sector and wider supply chain, and I urge people to come along and see for themselves what modern manufacturing is all about.”

More than 700,000 people are employed across design, engineering, manufacturing, supply chain, aftermarket and retail sectors with UK engineers and executives respected around the world. Industry takes on thousands of automotive apprentices each year and looks to initiatives such as See Inside Manufacturing to ensure it continues to attract the best and brightest young talent.

To find out the activities that major automotive companies, Aisin UK, Allied Vehicles, Aston Martin, BMW, Calsonic Kansei, Caterpillar, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, JCB, JewelUltra, Lotus, Michelin, Millbrook, MINI, Rolls-Royce, Schaeffler and Vauxhall, are staging in June as part of the ‘See Inside’ programme, click here.

Table of UK automotive ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ events:

Company Location Region/ nation Date(s) Activity
Aisin UK Birmingham West


Allied Vehicles Glasgow Scotland w/c 18 June Opening doors in Production and Engineering department to Glasgow Schools – 12 sessions planned so far to highlight careers in Automotive Engineering, including tours of the manufacturing process and talks with apprentices.
Aston Martin Gaydon West Midlands 3 July Students from a local sixth form will receive a site tour, have discussions with engineering apprentices, and participate in a lean manufacturing team activity.
BMW Plant Hams Hall Coleshill West Midlands 27 June Events with teachers and careers advisers.
Calsonic Kansei North East (Washington) Washington, Sunderland North East 20 June, 4 July – Washington 27 June, 11 July – Sunderland Four half day events, two in Washington, two in Sunderland. The events will involve pupils between the ages of 14-16 and will include a plant tour, visit to CKPS training  centre, and engineering tasks and presentation.
Caterpillar Building Construction Products Leicester East Midlands 13 June Year 10 students from several local schools, with a specific focus on girls’ schools to address the issue of the lack of women involved in manufacturing. Activities will include a tour of the assembly plant, demonstration of products and CAD-CAM systems, and a simple assembly test.
Honda (UK) Slough South West 4 July Tour of Honda Institute, presentation and Q&A with Honda (UK) and Honda Swindon factory personnel and apprentices
JCB Staffordshire West Midlands TBC TBC
Jaguar Land Rover Various Various 11 – 27 June Jaguar Primary School Challenge
Jaguar Land Rover Castle Bromwich, Gaydon, Solihull, Whitley West Midlands 11 – 29June Visits from schools (further details TBC)
Jaguar Land Rover Halewood North West 11- 29 June Visits from schools (further details TBC)
Jewelultra DiamondBrite Maidstone South East TBC TBC
Lotus Cars Hethel East of England 21 June Two sessions of age range 14-19. Activities will include a tour of the Lotus factory, classroom based activity, and a tour of Lotus Racing Workshops.
McLaren Group Woking South East 11June

9 or 29  October

Tour of McLaren Formula 1 workshops for teachers.

The ‘McLaren Manufacturing Challenge’ competition. This will see 50 students and 10 teachers from 10 local schools bring vehicles they have built to shoot it out in a grand finale at the McLaren Technology Centre. The day will also include a tour of the Formula 1 workshops and new sports car factory.

Michelin Tyre Stoke-on-Trent West Midlands 27, 28 June Michelin is arranging college, school staff and students to experience factory visits which illustrate the many varied career opportunities with the manufacturing sector, eg engineering, design, ergonomics, health and safety, management, quality, IT support etc. During the event, there will be a series of Workshop tours and presentations
Michelin Tyre Dundee Scotland October Two events.  One aimed at pupils at school, the other at Universities.
Michelin Tyre Ballymena Northern Ireland w/c 22 October TBC
Millbrook Millbrook Proving Ground, Bedford East of England September Two events for teachers, pupils, and pupils’ families. The event will include presentations from business areas and a track tour.
MINI Plant Oxford Cowley South East 27 June Plant tours and presentations for head teachers
MINI Plant Swindon Swindon South West 28 May, 11 June, 18 June Plant tours and presentations for students
Motorsport Industry Association Stoneleigh Park West Midlands TBC Currently pursuing motorsport sector involvement – details TBC
Rolls Royce Motor Cars Ltd Goodwood South East TBC TBC
Schaeffler (UK) Limited Llanelli, Wales 27 & 28 June 2012 Pupils from local secondary schools & teachers. Event will include presentations by key Schaeffler employees, factory tour, interaction with apprentices, and a hands-on engineering challenge.
SMMT London South East 15-22 June See Inside Manufacturing exhibit at SMMT’s Westminster Showroom space. Further details to be confirmed – 14-16 yr old students to visit for industry presentation, product tour and quiz.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd Deeside Wales 12,14,19,21,26,28 June – 3, 5, 10 July Open day and technology workshops in partnership with Glyndwr University. Teachers and pupils from Year 9 upwards. Event will include presentations, plant tours, robot challenges, careers fair and a networking opportunity.
Vauxhall Ellesmere Port Plant Ellesmere Port North West 13, 20, 27 June Two session event. Morning session from 09:30 – 12:00. Afternoon session from 13:00-15:30 including plant tour, career information, presentations, hands on activities, competitions.
Vauxhall Luton Plant Luton East of England 12, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21 June One day event from 09:30 – 14:00 including plant tour, career information, presentations, hands-on activities, competitions.