High performance cars: the vanguard of the UK engineering sector?

The automotive industry in the UK, and especially that of high performance cars, is a highly prized sector in the UK economy. It has in the past provided a benchmark for manufacturers in the rest of the world, and continues to do so. The country continues to invest in the development of high-level skills and engineering innovation, so as to keep its place as a major force in the automotive industry worldwide.

The history and future of the automotive industry in the UK

The UK has a rich history in the automotive industry, whether it is civilian cars or high performance racing and luxury brands. It has as a result earned itself a reputation around the world for high performance, quality, as well as engineering prowess. Some of the premium and sports car brands that the country is known for include Bentley, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, McLaren, and Rolls-Royce.

As far as the future of the industry is concerned, it seems quite bright. 2014 saw the industry hit record production levels, and this trend is set to continue in the years to come. The sector has been buoyed by a thriving export market, especially that of emerging markets where middle class populations are growing and their demand for goods, notably for luxury and high-end British brands, is increasing.

So as to ensure the country remains a base for high-level engineering skills, the British Government has put in place initiatives aimed at plugging the skills gap. This has led to more support and emphasis being given to the development of science and engineering skills through apprentices and vocational training. There has also been an effort to create manufacturing training and technology centres in a number of sites around the country, to nurture and grow young talent in order for the UK to keep its place as a major world leader in engineering.

Anthony Sheriff and his successful run at McLaren Automotive

Anthony Sheriff has worked as the Managing Director as well as a member of the Board of Directors of McLaren Automotive Ltd. While at the company, Anthony Sheriff had the responsibility of managing the various aspects of the road car business for the company. He steered the launch, in partnership with Mercedes-Benz, of the SLR into production. The development and launch of the SLR Stirling Moss and SLR Roadster that followed helped turn McLaren Automotive into a profitable company.

In a recent interview with McLaren Automotive director, Automotive Zone learnt that after this successful launch, Sheriff went ahead to launch three further products, the P11 (650S and MP4-12C), P12 (P1) and P13 (Sports Series), which established McLaren Automotive as a luxury sports car manufacturing company. The company also built a global distribution network and a dedicated production facility under Sheriff’s leadership.

The UK automotive sector, and especially that of high performance cars, has a bright future ahead of it, and should remain at the forefront of a thriving manufacturing industry in the country for many years to come. This will be as a result of the development and nurturing of an engineering skills base as well as the provision of the required financial support that will ensure the creation of a sustainable and stable industry.


On Purpose social enterprise leadership programme now open

Applications are now open for the October 2015 On Purpose social enterprise leadership programme.

On Purpose is a leadership programme that helps driven, talented professionals find a career that matters.

The one year On Purpose Associate Programme combines paid work placements in organisations which are using commercial dynamics to create social or environmental benefit (including Virgin Unite, Big Society Capital, National Citizens Service and JustGiving), along with weekly training (with professionals from organisations such as McKinsey, P&G, Ogilvy, the Design Council and the Cabinet Office) and regular one-to-one coaching and mentoring from seasoned business leaders.

Applications are now open until 9am on the 11th May 2015.

On Purpose was founded by Tom Rippin, a former management consultant with McKinsey, after having gone through a career transition similar to those that On Purpose now facilitates for its participants. “After leaving McKinsey to work in organisations that were using commercial dynamics for good, I had a steady stream of people who wanted to find out how I had managed to make that jump, so I knew there was a lot of demand out there.”

He decided to put his experience gained across the business, non-profit and public sectors towards helping others find more meaningful careers and, in so doing, help build and develop talent that bring about a more sustainable economy – one where the strengths of business are harnessed for social and environmental benefit.

On Purpose matches organisations that are using business for good with talented professionals who want something more fulfilling and meaningful from their career.

It’s a win-win; the social enterprise benefits from the carefully screened participants and the professionals being placed are offered a unique chance to not only work in these difficult-to-access organisations but also to learn with a group of like-minded peers and build a powerful network; all while at the same time putting their skills to use in organisations whose purpose they believe in.

Tom has previously advised the CEO of Comic Relief, and used to work with (RED) as Business Development Director, the company founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver, to help fight AIDS in Africa.

“For social enterprises to become successful, the movement needs not only entrepreneurs but also top quality managers and professionals who will grow and manage organisations. We are the only social enterprise programme focused on attracting these kinds of professionals.” explains Tom.

On Purpose recruits new professionals just twice per year. Applications are now open for the October 2015 intake and they are looking for emerging leaders from all disciplines who want to kick-start a career in social enterprises.

“We’ve already helped over 100 talented professionals change careers and are now recruiting again until 11th May when we will close our books.” says Tom.

Becoming an On Purpose Associate means taking part in a year-long programme where you:

  • are paid to work at organisations like Ben & Jerry’s, Big Issue Invest, Marks and Spencer Plan A
  • receive training from professionals from organisations including McKinsey, the Design Council, the Cabinet Office, Ogilvy and the Big Issue
  • learn from your peers, experienced mentors and executive coaches
  • become part of a collaborative network of emerging social enterprise leaders

Following the programme >85% of Fellows (alumni) remain working within this space and continue to benefit from On Purpose through additional training, social events and peer-to-peer support.

The Associate Programme is full time, based in London and starts on September 30th 2015. Associates work in their placements 4.5 days a week and spend Friday afternoon at training.  Associates are paid £21,000 for the year, which is a stipend for a year of training and development.

Applications are open from now until 9am on the 11th May at www.onpurpose.uk.com.