Gearing up for change: From Brexit to the skills gap, how can Midlands automotive firms address today’s challenges?

This new Partnership programme is designed to support automotive firms across the Midlands. Receive practical support and advice from industry specialists. Expert speakers will be providing an overview of today’s issues facing this industry.

David Shepherd, Senior Business Development Manager (Automotive)


“We’ve seen how automotive organisations in other regions are providing real benefits to their members on all sorts of levels. With so much change and uncertainty in the industry right now, the time is right to launch the Drive Midlands Automotive Partnership to support the local supply chain.”


Introducing the first line up of speakers attending the Drive Midlands Automotive Partnership launch:

Dr Shishank Shishank, Birmingham City University 

Dr. Shishank Shishank has a multidisciplinary background with a PhD in Operations Management from the University of the West of Scotland.

Shishank brings industry experience to his role having undertaken senior project management positions in an automotive company and worked as an internal consultant within both Manufacturing and Service industry in the UK and India.

Shishank is currently working on Brexit and its impact on automotive and aerospace Industry and understanding the issues for Supply Chain Management. He is also pursuing research on Supply Chain Management: application of Blockchain in digitising cross border trade for SMEs in West Midlands, involvement of SMEs in Industry 4.0 and Open Innovation Approach to Management of Innovation.


Jay Nagley, Department for International Trade 

Jay Nagley is a specialist within the Automotive Team at DIT. Jay has worked in the car industry for over 25 years and has advised many car manufacturers on market and product development issues including Audi, Citroen, Hyundai, JLR and Volvo.

Jay was also responsible for developing a number of major automotive websites for Channel 4, Channel 5, World Rally Championship and Formula E.





Dr Simon Farrall, General Manager of Apprenticeships and Adult Training at BMW

Simon Farrall is responsible for Apprentice and Associate Training for all BMW Group companies in the UK. These companies include 7 different legal entities, operating in 5 different locations, with a total of about 9000 associates. There are currently more than 220 BMW/MINI/Rolls Royce apprentices working at in the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce group businesses in the UK (this does not include apprentices working on dealership programmes).

Before coming into this role in September 2011, Simon lead the BMW lean manufacturing and business processes programme known as the Value Added Production System for a year and a half. Prior to this, from 2000 onwards he held a series of quality and launch related management roles in Oxford and Munich. Simon had spent the previous fifteen years with the Rover Group starting as a sponsored student before moving to research programmes and then joining the MINI project team in the late 90s.

Simon is also currently the Chair of the Automotive Council Skills Working Group. At the start of his career he obtained his first degree in Cambridge University and PhD in the University of Warwick.



Enquire Now

We'd like to stay in touch with regards to events and Drive Midlands news, please confirm below if you'd like to be kept up to date. We always protect your data in line with our privacy policy

I accept contact as follows: