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UK-based training from Renault

Renault is to open three regional training academies in the UK by the end of 2005.

The first will be in Newport, Wales, in partnership with the Welsh Development Agency (WDA) and automotive training specialist Emtec.

Building work is under way to expand existing facilities at the Welsh centre to accommodate the French car and van maker and at least two other vehicle manufacturers. Toyota and Vauxhall are understood to be in negotiations with the WDA. But Renault UK has confirmed it has signed to the project, which will be officially launched on July 14.

No details of the other two proposed regional centres have been released.

Nottingham-based Emtec, part of the Carter & Carter group, has developed several automotive apprentice training programmes and already operates in 12 regional centres around Britain.

Having academies in the UK should help Renault’s dealers reduce training costs.AM understands Lookers is among those who have been sending technicians overseas. They have been travelling to Dublin to take Master Technician courses in an International centre run by Renault Ireland, which is owned by businessman Bill Cullen.

Cullen, whose €350m company imports about 20,000 Renault cars and vans each year, took over the Renault franchise from Waterford Crystal in 1986.

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