Tuesday, February 28, 2017

News: McLaren recruitment underway

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UK supercar manufacturer, McLaren has made a fast start in recruiting skilled staff at its new manufacturing facility in Rotherham and has already filled a number of positions.

Earlier this month, McLaren announced plans to build a £50m, 75,000 sq ft, carbon-fibre composites factory, set for the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham.

The Composites Technology Centre will be responsible for the research and development of future Monocell and Monocage carbon fibre chassis for McLaren Automotive, as well as the manufacturing of the chassis itself.

It is set to create more than 200 jobs and will comprise approximately 150 production staff and 50 manufacturing support staff.

Hi-tech positions such as composites technician, composite project engineer, and principal engineers in finishing and preforming have already been filled.

For more than 30 years, McLaren has pioneered the use of carbon fibre in vehicle production. Following on from its use in Formula 1, the now-iconic McLaren F1 from 1993 was the first road car ever to be built with a carbon fibre chassis. Since 1981, McLaren has not built a car without a carbon fibre chassis.

McLaren Automotive and the University of Sheffield is set to deliver a two-year research and development programme, which will lead to the development of a production facility to build its lightweight carbon fibre chassis for its new models from 2020.

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The University of Sheffield's AMRC Training Centre, on the AMP in Rotherham, will also immediately start training McLaren apprentices who will work in the new facility.

The AMRC Training Centre is a £20.5m centre where the focus is on students aged from 16 upwards, taken on paid apprenticeships. Part of the The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing, apprentices have opportunities to progress on to postgraduate courses, doctorates and MBA levels. Sponsoring companies range from global leaders such as Rolls-Royce and Tata Steel to local high-tech supply-chain companies.

Ian Hutchinson is McLaren Automotive's first apprentice at the AMRC Training Centre. Speaking at the recent launch event, Ian (pictured) said: "Today has been pretty special, it's the start of something new and so exciting, not just for me but for everyone involved at the University, the AMRC and the local area.

"When I heard I was going to be an apprentice for McLaren it was quite a surprise and not something I expected, but it was something that I immediately thought, wow, this is something special! Something to be proud of really.

"Learning more about it and finding out just what was going to be happening here, it became something to grab on to, follow and run with.

"My friends think I'm quite lucky, some are jealous and some don't quite believe it!"

Switching to the apprenticeship route, Hutchinson studied A-Levels at school but decided he didn't want to spend everyday sat at a desk listening to somebody at the front of a classroom or lecture theatre, instead he saw his strengths in keeping busy, keeping working.

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The new facility is due to start construction in early 2017 with the first pre-production carbon fibre chassis expected to be delivered to the McLaren Technology Centre in the second half of 2017 using trial manufacturing processes in the AMRC before going into full production by 2020.

McLaren website
AMRC Training Centre website

Images: AMRC Training Centre


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