Norton launch British apprenticeship program

Set up by Norton CEO to support the British motorcycle industry

NORTON has launched an apprenticeship program set up predominantly to support the British motorcycle industry.

The firm is looking to recruit 40 apprentices by September as part of its British Motorcycle Manufacturing Academy (BMMA). The academy will be held at the firm’s headquarters at Donington Hall and eventually plans to take in 100 trainees a year.

Norton says the three-year course will deliver intermediate apprenticeships via a modulated accelerated learning approach. Apprentices will achieve on average two units every six weeks, with an assessment week at the end of each learning cycle.

Apprentices will be encouraged to learn all aspects of the British motorcycle manufacturing industry. This will include motorcycle model identification, motorcycle market assessment, development of race platforms, motorcycle and parts logistics and supply chain management alongside the institute of Motor Industry’s Motorcycle Maintenance and Repair Qualifications.

Norton CEO and owner, Stuart Garner, said: ‘We want to make a 100 per cent British-made motorcycle.

‘But this is hard to do because there’s no way of buying some of the parts in the UK. We don’t have any suspension or brake manufacturers here. We gave to get them from the Far East.

‘This is because there’s not the skills in this country any more. We need to do something about it.

‘We want the guys to come and get their hands dirty and make parts for motorcycles.’

Norton is looking for trainees in the 16-18 age range, however, a few 19+ positions are being offered with a cost supplement. Adam Wragg, a motor industry specialist from Loughborough College who will head the academy, said apprentices will be working towards an NVQ qualification.

Mandip Rai, head of strategy at Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, which helps businesses secure government funding, said: ‘I know Stuart is very passionate about getting young people skilled up in the motorcycle sector.

‘We will be looking at what we can do to support him. There may be some funding available to help business-led academies like this.’

Apply for the BMMA.