Former Whitburn Comprehensive pupil becomes youngest ever director at Nissan's Sunderland plant

Nissan’s Sunderland plant has appointed its youngest ever director.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 1:54 pm

New HR director Michael Jude, 34, started at the plant in 2010 as a graduate in the HR department and has held roles both at the factory and in Nissan’s wider European business.

Michael, from East Boldon, is a former pupil at Whitburn Comprehensive who did a degree in Sports Science at the University of Sunderland, followed by a Master’s degree at Newcastle University.

His appointment comes as the plant opens a new round of graduate recruitment, with applications now open for vacancies in Engineering, Production Control, Purchase and Supply Chain Management.

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Michael Jude is the youngest ever director at Sunderland's Nissan plant

Michael takes up his post as preparations gather pace for the launch of the new Qashqai, the plant’s best selling model.

Nissan confirmed late last year that a third generation of the model would be produced on Wearside, helping to secure the future of its workers and the supply line to the plant.

The site will produce the new e-POWER model, a hybrid vehicle, following on from a £400 million investment in the car, including a £52 million XL press line at the base.

His appointment means nine of the company’s senior management team have now started with the business through the graduate scheme.

Michael (front centre) with the other members of the senior management team who started on the graduate scheme

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One of them is 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: “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,” he said.

“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.”

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.

Anyone interested in one of the roles please visit:

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