Business Secretary Vince Cable helped Nissan and West Thames College to launch an apprenticeship that will shape the future of car design.

Dr Cable was joined at the car firm’s European design centre in Paddington, London, by Andy Palmer, Nissan executive vice president, to unveil the clay modelling apprenticeship programme.

The scheme is designed to address a national shortage in skilled sculptors who give form to the vision of car designers.

Dr Cable met the first three apprentices — Sanny Kumar, 18, Joanna Bond, 19, and Robert Bennett, 23. They were selected from more than 900 applicants.

Joanna said: “Clay modelling is a very specialist role and not a job you can just walk into. This apprenticeship is giving me the opportunity to get my qualifications and go straight into work.”

College principal Marjorie Semple said: “We are really excited to be working in partnership with Nissan on this amazing project. This fills a gap in the industry and opens up fantastic opportunities for young people who want to pursue a career in this sector.”

Featured image caption: Business Secretary Vince Cable meets West Thames College and Nissan apprentices (from left) Robert Bennett, Joanna Bond, and Sanny Kumar. Also pictured is one of Dr Cable’s ministerial aides

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