From education to employment


The first apprentice technicians for performance electric car brand, Polestar, are on track for career success after starting their training at the MIRA Technology Institute (MTI). The three apprentices, who secured sought-after roles with the business at its base on the MIRA Technology Park in Nuneaton, are developing their skills as part of a light vehicle apprenticeship.

Apprentice Jamal Gask-Clarke, from Coventry, formerly played rugby professionally for Wasps, but pandemic disruption changed the direction of his career, and he was attracted to the automotive industry by growth in electric vehicle sector. Connor Foster, from Ashby-de-la-Zouch, previously studied electrical engineering and was looking for a fresh and exciting career opportunity. Sophia Booth, from Bedworth, completed A Levels while helping her mechanic father to keep their neighbours’ cars on the road. A keen motocross enthusiast since the age of 14, Sophia says that she feels lucky to be employed by a company like Polestar.

Polestar is rapidly growing its UK workforce, which now exceeds 300 employees. The business, which puts sustainability at its heart, is working on the development of future models for its expanding all-electric line up. Polestar has engaged with the MIRA Technology Institute (MTI) to support its first apprentice technicians and will grow its capacity to support more entrants into the automotive manufacturing sector.

Polestar’s HR Business Partner, Kylie Bennett said, “Our business has grown so quickly, and we are enormously proud of what we have achieved despite the pandemic. Our all-electric Polestar 2 model has been on the road since 2020 and brand awareness has grown exponentially over that time.

“To support our future success, it is imperative we invest in talented and skilled individuals that will enable us to achieve our goals, to make a positive contribution to a sustainable society and deliver a ‘climate neutral’ car by 2030. Skills in electric vehicle engineering are in short supply and we are keen to grow our own technicians and contribute to the shortfall by providing opportunities for individuals at the start of their careers.

“The MTI is well placed to deliver the classroom and workshop skills that our apprentices need. The facilities are great, and the team do an incredible job. The recruitment process was highly rigorous, but we were unanimous in selecting Sophia, Connor, and Jamal; they stood out and really showed that they are hungry for the opportunity. We are very pleased with how all three are progressing.”

Polestar apprentice on fast track to career success

The MTI is the result of a unique collaboration led by North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, and its partners, HORIBA MIRA, Coventry University, the University of Leicester, and Loughborough University. IT is helping to create specialist skills in emerging technology areas including electrification and driverless cars. Since it first opened its doors, the MTI has welcomed over 32,000 students and delegates. This includes over 1,100 studying for accredited qualifications from a Level 1 Institute of the Motor Industry certificate up to Masters’ degrees, and over 700 following apprenticeships at all levels. More than 10,000 automotive professionals have taken part in professional development activities.

Lisa Bingley, Operations Director at the MTI said, “We’re delighted to be working with Polestar in support of its first UK apprentices and helping the business to create a skilled future workforce. We understand the pressures of this fast-paced industry and are in a good position to help other businesses to grow their own skills and keep ahead of demand.”

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Chair of the MTI Operations Board, and Principal and Chief Executive North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for our apprentices to gain a firm foothold in a career that will set them up for a great working future.”

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