Nissan urges companies to drive scheme’s agenda

Nissan has defended the quality of
recruits from the New Deal scheme and claims that 400 of them will be employed
in its Sunderland plant.

Steve Pallas, training
and development manager at Nissan in Sunderland, said that as long as employers
invest in an effective in-house training scheme many of the New Deal candidates
will make the grade.

Nissan uses its own
mock workshop, kitted out with the same tools as the factory itself, to
simulate production line conditions and acclimatise trainees to working life.

Pallas said, "If
you wait for an external provider to produce what you want you will never get
it right.  It is up to companies to
develop and monitor their own schemes and if they don’t get what they want they
should change the process."

The company has
already used the facility to train 200 New Deal employees from the under-25
scheme and expects the total number of New Dealers to top 400 by the end of the

Pallas said, "We
used our own scheme to train the trainers and hired one of our ex-supervisors
to oversee the scheme. Part of the scheme focuses on skills and part is about
behavioural skills – making it clear we expect them to turn up on time every

Train companies have
backed the programme by providing half-price tickets for the next two years.

The New Deal scheme
has been criticised by business for producing low-quality trainees. But the
Government claims that in the past two years, more than 279,000 young people
have found jobs through the initiative.

Employment minister
Tessa Jowell recently claimed New Dealers are 10 times more likely to find jobs
than other job-seekers.

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