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Construction starts on BMW academy

BMW has started construction work on a new purpose built £17m training academy at Wokefield Park, near Reading.

The training and development centre, due to open in 2006, will provide all technical and non-technical training for the BMW, Mini and motorcycle dealer networks and will also be available the company’s employees throughout the UK.

BMW UK has signed a long term service agreement with Initial Style Conferences Limited, the UK’s leading provider of training and conference centres and a subsidiary of Rentokil Initial, to provide its training facilities.

Jim O’Donnell, managing director of BMW UK, says: "Recruitment and retention of skilled people are critical issues facing the automotive sector.

In order to meet the growth in BMW and Mini UK sales volumes in the next three years, we need to increase the number of people working in our dealerships from 9,000 to more than 11,000. With the number of days training forecast to increase by nearly 30 per cent by 2010, our agreement with Initial Style Conferences will ensure that we are able to meet this challenge."

The BMW Group Academy UK will incorporate a workshop with 32 bays, 25 training rooms and a BMW, Mini and motorcycle showroom to simulate a working dealer environment. The centre will also feature a dedicated apprentice training area with its own accommodation facilities and clubhouse for the current intake of 60-70 apprentices per year.

Architects impression of the BMW Group Academy UK

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