Japanese car giant Nissan picks Sunderland for new £3.5m global training centre

Japanese car giant Nissan has selected its UK plant in Sunderland to house a new £3.5m training centre of excellence.

Production supervisors from Nissan plants across Europe, India, the Middle East and South Africa will be invited to the North East to learn how to become ‘master trainers’ in all aspects of efficient car production.

The workers will undergo a 15-week training programme at the centre – one of only two of the company’s centres for manufacturing training worldwide.

The aim of the project is to standardise training and education, up the global standard skills level, and to ensure best practice is shared across all Nissan plants.

The project will be staffed by 10 employees from Sunderland’s training department, who recently spent seven weeks in Japan preparing for their new role.

Nissan’s Japan headquarters has provided funding for the project, which will see part of the Sunderland plant converted to house the centre. The first group, from the company’s plant in St Petersburg, Russia, is expected to arrive in the autumn and will be taught on replica production lines.

Ian Green, a senior controller at Nissan and head of the training initiative, told Personnel Today: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to use our skills and expertise in lean manufacturing to help other plants reach the same standards as ourselves and Japan.”

In May, Nissan said it would create up to 4,000 jobs through the sale of land and the creation of a new logistics centre at the Sunderland site.

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