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Lear Sunderland Launches Academy for Job Seekers

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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Lear Poland Wins Employer Award, Launches Innovative HR Efforts

Lear Poland was proud to accept’s Polish Automotive Industry Award in the Employer category during the MotoSolutions Forum this past November. organizes the annual event, which is highly regarded by the nation’s automotive sector. Since 2010, the Forum has invited OEM and supplier senior and mid-level manufacturing plant managers to participate. The attendees spend two days listening to presentations and networking, with special guest speakers discussing the most effective strategies and practices in use.

Malgorzata Zborowska-Stęplewska, partner at, explained that award was granted based on significant improvements carried out since the 2008 economic crisis. Since that time, Lear Poland has expanded production and its customer portfolio as well as increased the number of manufacturing plants. This growth resulted in Lear Poland’s seven sites (five plants and two R&D centers) employing the most people in the country’s automotive industry among suppliers.

Lear has also begun working with local universities in southwestern Poland’s Upper Silesia region, including Politechnika Śląska (Silesian University of Technology), Uniwersytet Śląski (University of Silesia in Katowice) and Uniwersytet Ekonomiczna w Katowicach (University of Economics in Katowice).

“This ‘Practical Start’ program is an initiative of our Tychy trim managers and is one of our ideas to further become an Employer of Choice by cooperating with the universities to support students in their first steps in the job market,” said Monika Krzysztofik, HR country manager. “During six days of workshops in the areas of production, quality, maintenance, health and safety, logistics, IT, CI, engineering and new launches, 53 students from these universities applied for internship positions to be filled.”

This approach presents students with “a flavor” of Lear’s business, shows our environment and supports them in choosing an optimal direction for their educational and professional development.

“We educate these young people with facts, such as Lear is the biggest employer in the automotive industry in Poland, and there are internships and job opportunities for those with the right qualifications and team spirit,” Monika explained. “We also provide more information on the five Lear plants and R&D centers in Poland.”

This builds upon an ongoing joint community program called “Kariera na Start” (Career to Start), in which Lear interns collaborate in an effort to raise awareness of opportunities. Through this program, we demonstrate Lear as a socially responsible company that hires young and dynamic people whose jobs are beneficial for our business and region. Ten of our interns from this project have been offered positions with Lear since 2013, and we currently have five intern positions open.

Lear intern Beata Brząkała recently collaborated in a promotional video to raise awareness of our Kariera na Start campaign (view below or click here).

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