As well as training modern apprentices, from September the company will also offer pre-apprenticeship courses for 14-16 year olds in local schools.
Bodywork Direct has just one branch but owner David Blenkinsop harbours the ambition of a chain of three or four bodyshops, all with accredited in-house training centres.
The company moved into new 25,000sq ft premises in October 2004. Part of the specification for the building was a training facility.
The company has five apprentices, and another 15 in local businesses waiting to join the scheme. “We are trying to get away from pure technical colleges,” says Blenkinsop. “Students will have access to technicians who do the job day in and day out.”