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Leyland makes major investment in training for the future

18th March 2009 Print
Investment of over half a million pounds in the training of engineers is being seen by Leyland Trucks as a mark of confidence in the long-term future of the Lancashire truck builder.

Around 100 engineers and technical staff are having their skill levels further advanced under a scheme which has received £300,000 of funding through The Northwest Regional Development Agency. The company is meeting the remaining costs.

“This is a significant investment in the future of our business at a time when market conditions are very challenging,” says Leyland Trucks’ managing director, Jim Sumner.

“These engineers and technicians are learning new skills that will enable them to make a significant contribution to improving our manufacturing efficiency and competitiveness. They will also be supporting the development of high technology projects, such as hybrid vehicles.

”I’m very pleased that with the support of the NWDA we are able to make this investment at this time. I see it as a very positive commitment to the future of our company and the1,000 local people who work here. It’s also an essential step – and just the first of several we are taking – towards ensuring that we are well prepared to take immediate advantage of the recovery when it comes.”

The training covers a wide range of skills in product design, engineering, project management, process engineering and financial management. It is very focussed on product and process innovation and the change management needed to support the company through the current economic downturn and position it for growth once the economy starts to recover.

Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of the NWDA, said: “The government has put in place a multi-million pound support package for the automotive industry across the UK, which will help vehicle manufacturers, particularly in the long term. However, there is still a need for help with immediate issues and the NWDA is doing what it can to help with these short and medium term challenges.

“The Automotive sector in the region is the second largest in the UK, supporting some 43,000 jobs and it is vital to the future growth of our economy. We must do all we can to support it now. We are delighted to be able to support Leyland Trucks, one of the regions key global brands, and their people during these challenging economic times.”