Nissan Sunderland’s Apprenticeship Scheme: Moulding The Workforce of Tomorrow

Nissan Sunderland’s Apprenticeship Scheme opened for applications last month, with plans to up-skill the next generation as they mould the workforce of tomorrow.

The plans to provide around 100 opportunities to aspiring apprentices come as a major asset to the region in the midst of a pandemic, and will see the training, practise and development of professional ability to ensure career success.

This will welcome candidates with interest in a range of sectors, covering areas such as manufacturing, business administration, quality and production.

Alongside job-based training, the roles will accommodate those with diverse learning styles with classroom-based teaching embedded into each course.

As one of 2,000 people who began their career as an apprentice at Nissan Sunderland, Plant Engineering Director Damian Wheeler has explained the benefits of the route:

“Back in 1987 what appealed to me the most was the opportunity to learn and earn at the same time. Nissan was new to the North East and the opportunities they had available were fantastic. Fast forward 35 years and we’re embarking on the EV36Zero journey to electrification with the launch of a new electric vehicle, a battery gigafactory as well as a world-first renewable energy microgrid. There’s never been a more exciting time to join the plant.”

For more information on the opportunities available and life at the Sunderland plant, visit Nissan’s careers site here:

Personal Development For Employability

View the fact sheet here: Personal Development For Employability


Level 1 Certificate in Personal Development for Employability


Programme Overview

The objective of this qualification is to prepare learners for employment and/or support a role in the workplace.

  • It will give learners the opportunity to:
  • Gain knowledge and understanding to enhance their success in employment
  • Develop variety of employment-based skills
  • Achieve a nationally-recognised Level 1 qualification

Progression Routes

Learners who successfully complete one of these qualifications may progress in one of the following routes:

  • Employment: Successful learners in completing this qualification will gain the skills and knowledge required to start work in a variety of different sectors including customer service.
  • Education: Successful learners may wish to continue with their educational development and look towards completing the higher-level qualification in personal development for employability or sector-specific vocational qualifications or an apprenticeship


Delivery Units

Unit No Mandatory Units
A/503/2836 Self-assessment
Unit No Optional Units
D/502/0436 Dealing with problems in daily life
A/502/0461 Preparation for work
A/616/6546 Produce a curriculum
M/503/2834 Interview skills
D/503/2831 Searching for a job
J/617/5430 Personal development within customer service
M/503/2848 Managing your health at work


Manual to Digital

View the fact sheet here: In Work Skills Manual to Digital

In Work Skills – Manual to Digital 

The Manual to Digital module is an introduction to business improvement in the digital age, whilst gaining an understanding of the Smart Factory, learners will gather, analyse, and validate data using virtual reality and business improvement tools.

Industry 4.0, also known as the Industrial internet of things (IIoT) or smart manufacturing, brings together physical production and operations with digital technologies, machine learning, and big data to create a holistic approach which better connects manufacturing operations and supply chain management. The need for organisations to have sight of real time data across their own production processes, supply chain, products and customers is vital to meet the needs of an ever-expanding, fast-moving marketplace.

The Smart Factory is a flexible system that optimises performance, can self-adapt to accommodate the external conditions, and learn from the new conditions to run fully or semi-automated production processes.


This module contains:

The digital factory: An introduction to Industry 4.0 and the Smart Factory, highlighting the new era of interconnectivity through the Internet of Things (IoT).

Process improvement: A review of the key theorists of business improvement, understanding how those theories are adapted to suit the modern day needs of an organisation, its people, and their customers.

Big Data: Big data provides the definition and requirements of data, how and why data is needed and used with modern day digital environments.

Digital sensors: Introduction to Smart Sensors used within the manufacturing process. With a wide range of sensors, all gathering data, defects within the process and product can be corrected and prevented.

Virtual Reality: Using VR technology, you can immerse yourself in a production process, gathering data from Smart Sensors to identify inefficiencies within the production process.

Data and Analytics: Understanding how to utilise, analyse and validate Smart Sensor data is covered using business improvement tools and techniques.

Future technologies: Use of Smart Sensors for predictive maintenance including early fault detection, failure detection and CMMS (computerised maintenance management system) integration.


Face to face, online or workbook learning is available for this course.

New Hydrogen Homes To Educate On A Greener Future

Last week we visited the brand new Hydrogen Homes in Gateshead to learn more about how hydrogen could help us build a greener future.

Opened to the public in July, the homes will remain open for three years and were built by Northern Gas Networks in partnership with Cadent and the Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The two semi-detached homes are designed to educate the public on the benefits of hydrogen appliances. The methane we presently use to cook and heat our homes releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when burned, contributing to 30% of CO2 emissions in the UK and, ultimately, to climate change. Hydrogen’s lack of carbon ensures that when burned, only water and heat are produced, meaning we can cook and heat our homes in cleaner and greener ways.

Not only would a switch to hydrogen aid the environment, the government estimate that it would enable new jobs and opportunities across the country. It is thought that in 2030 the UK hydrogen economy could be worth £900million and supporting over 9,000 jobs. By 2050, this figure could rise to £13billion whilst supporting up to 100,000 jobs, mainly in science, engineering, manufacturing and transport alongside a range of roles in the supply chain including IT, construction and training.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and are excited to watch what the future holds for the UK’s green agenda, both on the roads and in the home.



Electrification Is On The Rise

Recent efforts by the government to improve the UK’s eco-friendliness has seen a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, in turn meaning electrification within manufacturing is on the rise.

Aside from the cost effectiveness of renewability creating a higher demand for electric vehicles, the lack of gases they emit that are associated with global warming mean the manufacturing industry are keen to produce them on a larger scale. This is also led by the governments mission to ban the production and sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030.

Recognising the reduction this means for our carbon footprint, Nissan Sunderland revealed their plans for their EV36Zero project, which aims to establish a solution for zero-emission motoring. This project brings together electric vehicles, renewable energy and battery production to look toward a greener, more prosperous future for the UK.

Working by the same initiative, our learners took on the challenge of converting a classic Nissan Datsun into a fully electric vehicle earlier this year, undertaking the maintenance, wiring and engine replacement required for the transformation. This couples with our Electrification course launching later this year to illustrate how we’re equipping learners with the skills needed by the manufacturing sector of tomorrow.

We’re proud to be working in line with the future needs of employers to lower unemployment rates in the North East community whilst encouraging contribution to a more sustainable future powered by the manufacturing sector.

Our New Robotics and Automation Programmes

With the introduction of new technology shaping the way production processes are carried out, the manufacturing sector is rapidly changing. As with updates to any sector, this creates a shift in the skills desired by employers, and, in this case, the manufacturing industry of the future is thus set to require new technological knowledge from its employees.

At NA College, we’re committed to providing learners with the skills and knowledge needed by employers both now and in future. Utilising our simulated work environments, we allow learners to practise real life skills in order to fully prepare them for the reality of their chosen sector whilst developing competitive candidates for tomorrow’s workforce.

We’re proud to be working with the High Value Manufacturing Catapult to design two brand new qualifications which cater to employers’ future needs. Using our state-of-the-art facilities, our learners will gain a deep understanding of how manufacturing processes are changing, enabling them to practise with new technology to advance their skills and retain engagement.

Aiding accessibility to learning content, our experienced tutors have worked to create detailed, clear digital content to explain learning processes from start to finish with an easy to follow commentary. This experience works to engage learners whilst broadening their knowledge in new and creative ways.

Nissan’s Plans To Expand Solar Farm

Nissan Sunderland are continuing their efforts to aid the green revolution as they work to fulfil their plans to become carbon neutral by 2050. Following this agenda, the plant have recently announced their request to have a further 37,000 solar panels installed by local sustainable energy company Engenera Renewables.

The panels will be pivotal in ensuring Nissan achieve their ambition of electrifying all vehicles they manufacture by 2030, enabling them to build every single zero-emission Nissan Leaf sold across Europe.

This would also act as the second phase of Nissan’s decarbonisation plans, involving solar car ports, EV charging stations and a range of renewable heat solutions, as Engenera Renewables are set to operate the expanded solar array for a total of 40 years.

Our 2022 PPE Recycling Project Launch

As part of our commitment to sustainability, we’re proud to be launching our PPE Recycling Project in 2022 as we work to lessen the plastic waste amplified by the pandemic.

Utilising our Smart Factory and advanced state-of-the-art equipment, NAC will work to produce MHRA-approved medical face masks to be transported and sold to the public by environmental protection organisation, EkoBox.

Following their use, these face masks will return to our workshop before our specialised recycling machines, provided by Precious Plastic, will extract and transform the plastic waste into sustainable, reusable products, aiding our recycling initiative.

We’re excited to continue our contribution efforts toward the green revolution, utilising manufacturing to look toward a greener, more prosperous future and embedding these core values within our learners.