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‘Beacon’ status for BMW centre

BMW (GB) has achieved government recognition for the high standard of the technician training programmes at its Centre for Development in Bracknell, Berkshire.

Dr Kim Howells, Minister for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education, has presented the company with Learning and Skills Beacon Status – marking it as a role model for the industry.

Howells commended the business for its “outstanding contribution” to the learning and skills sector, adding that it will encourage improvements in training opportunities across the repair industry.

Steve Nash, BMW (GB) aftersales director and incoming IMI chairman, suggests the award is all the more important because the company is the only automotive industry trainer to receive it.

“It is a recognition of our commitment to increase skills in our dealerships and we will continue to share our knowledge with others,” he adds. Only 58 learning institutions have ever achieved the award.

BMW sees the development of online training, which it terms E-learning, as a key priority for the servicing and repair sector. One of its projects under development is an internet-based fault simulation system, which provides a virtual environment for technicians to perfect their diagnostic skills prior to working on an actual vehicle. Trainees’ actions are monitored and recorded remotely, allowing instructors to identify strengths and weaknesses and suggest improvements where necessary.

To achieve Beacon status, the centre underwent a three-stage selection procedure, which included monitoring of its management standards, and approval by a national advisory panel.

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