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Nissan graduate scheme produces youngest ever Sunderland Plant Director

Nissan has a new Human Resources Director in the driving seat at its Sunderland Plant

Nissan has a new Human Resources Director in the driving seat at its Sunderland Plant.

Michael Jude, 34 and from Sunderland, started at the plant in 2010 as a graduate in the HR department, has held roles both at the factory and in Nissan’s wider European business, and becomes the youngest Director in the plant’s history.

He has been appointed into the role at a busy time for the plant, as preparations gather pace for the launch of the third generation Qashqai, the company’s award-winning C-segment crossover.

Nissan has a history of nurturing home-grown talent into key roles at the plant, with nine of the company’s senior management team now having started on the graduate scheme.

This includes Vice President for Manufacturing Alan Johnson who started as an engineering graduate in 1991 and went on to hold a number of positions within Nissan in Russia, Spain and France before returning to Sunderland in May last year.

He said: “Our plant has a rich history of developing the talent of its highly skilled team, and Michael’s appointment just shows what can be achieved.

“As alumni myself I know that our graduate scheme is the perfect springboard for a successful career – I would encourage anyone looking for an opportunity to take a look at the positions we have available at the plant.

“There is no more exciting time to join our team, as we prepare for the launch of the third generation Qashqai and continue to drive the global company’s push towards electrification.”

Other graduates to hold senior positions at the plant include Production Director Adam Pennick. He joined as an engineering graduate in 1997, and has risen through the ranks to lead the plant’s 5,000-strong manufacturing team. Adam was also instrumental in the manufacture of PPE for front line workers during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As well as Alan, Adam and Michael other former Nissan graduate scheme alumni on the senior leadership team include:

  • Roddy Macleod, Vice President, Nissan Africa, Middle East and India Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management, 1989, Graduate Engineer
  • Andy Marsh, Vice President, Nissan Europe Production Engineering, 1992, Graduate Engineer
  • Michael Simpson, Vice President, Nissan Europe Supply Chain Management, 1995, Graduate in Production Control
  • Nicola Stoker, Director, Total Delivered Cost, 1998, Graduate in Production Control
  • Simon O’Donnell, Director, Nissan Europe Production Engineering, 1998, Graduate Engineer
  • John Davidson, Director, Nissan Europe Outbound Logistics, 2001, Graduate in Production Control

SOURCE: Nissan

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