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Establishing a Skills Academy

Automotive Skills has established a designate board in an attempt to ensure the industry is well positioned for a successful bid this year to establish a Skills Academy for the retail motor industry.

The Government is expected to announce its decision in the autumn on eight sector Skills Academies. Automotive Skills says it is determined to be in the line up: its aim is to raise standards, improve performance and deliver improved cross-sector collaboration.

William Blacklock, director of policy and research for Automotive Skills, tells AM-online: “We believe a physical, bricks and mortar solution, is not the right approach. The Skills Academy role will be an enabling and supportive one.”

Five Skills Academies have already been established. These are in the fields of financial services, construction, food and drink, manufacturing and fashion retail.

There are currently 18 members of the Automotive Skills designate board, which met for the first time on March 13.

At the inaugural meeting, it was proposed this number should be increased to ensure full representation of the main sub-sections of the industry.

Over the coming months the board will be determining its priorities and developing a clear retail motor industry led vision, which adds value to the existing arrangements, says Blacklock.

The bidding round is expected to commence in April, once the Government releases its prospectus for interested parties.

Steve Nash, BMW’s aftersales director and chairman of the designate board, says: “The collective investment in training made by all employers in our sector is truly vast.

“The establishment of a Skills Academy will provide the focus to help reduce unnecessary duplication of effort and to ensure that we all gain the best possible results from those investments.”

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