Lear Sunderland recently launched a new UK government-funded, two-week training program with local partners Pinpoint Training and Recruitment. The initiative aims to support the local community by providing employability and manufacturing training to help create sustainable jobs.

The Lear Sunderland Employability Academy offers specific approaches to unemployed residents to help get them back into the workforce and introduce them to potential careers in manufacturing. Local job centers, work programs, training providers and Pinpoint’s own internal recruitment teams send referrals to the Academy.

Lear Sunderland developed the Academy with the goal that it can provide production operators for the foam facility moving forward; keeping in mind the plant’s current expansion plans.

“Lear benefits by gaining high caliber operators who’ve had some formal training on site, understand the business and process and have been given the opportunity to prove their suitability,” said Alison Burgin, Senior HR Officer. “The Academy will be ongoing to support our recruitment needs now and in the future.”

The program includes site tours and training on employability skills, resume (CV) writing, interview skills, teamwork, equality and diversity, job requirements and promoting Lear as an Employer of Choice. Those who continue to the second week of the Academy attend presentations by Lear departmental personnel regarding manufacturing process and quality issues. Attendees then spend several days on the production line to establish mutual suitability.

Post-Academy, trainees provided Lear with feedback. Many Academy attendees enjoyed learning more about Lear and appreciated the advice about what employers look for in prospective team members. Others gained a good understanding of interview skills and the proper mental approaches to seeking employment.

Last September, Gideon Jewel (Pres. – Seating, Europe & Africa) and Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson officially announced the expansion of the foam plant, with plans to create more than 100 jobs and extend the facility by 3,500 square meters to double the plant’s production capacity.


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