VIDEO: Mayor of London Boris Johnson visits Dagenham Ford plant
- Credit: Archant
Mayor of London Boris Johnson praised the value of apprentices on a special visit to Dagenham’s Ford plant this morning.
The trip came a month after Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled an £8.9million funding grant from the government’s Regional Growth Fund on a separate visit to the site.
That money adds to a further £190million invested by the car giants for production of new 2.0 litre diesel engine for cars and commercial vehicles.
Ford, for so long synonymous with the area, are also investing £475million in next-generation, low emission, Euro 6/VI diesel engines and from 2015 will be able to produce 350,000 advanced technology engines a year – one every 30 seconds.
The Mayor was given a tour of the new advanced technology engine assembly line and introduced to a group of the company’s apprentices.
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He said: “Like a well-oiled engine, apprentices are absolutely crucial to keeping our economy moving, providing a smooth transition into employment for school leavers while also being hugely rewarding for the companies involved.
“It is great to be here at Ford – one of the traditional motors of the UK economy – to meet their apprentices and see how the company is making not only the best diesel engines in the world, but the most environmentally friendly diesel engines in the world.”
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Ford employs 930 apprentices – 800 based across the company’s dealer network and 95 who are undertaking a craft programme at the Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (Ceme) in Rainham.
An additional 45 young people are enrolled on a higher apprenticeship scheme.
Mark Ovenden, chairman and managing director for Ford of Britain, said: “This new, low emission, London-built advanced diesel engine will deliver dramatically lower NOx emissions, meeting the air quality requirements of the London Mayor’s proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), and underlines Ford’s commitment to environmental sustainability.”
The engine was designed and developed at Ford’s Dunton Technical Facility in Basildon, and will be exported to markets across the world from next year.