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New BMW training centre to meet people demand

A £17m training facility for the UK’s BMW and Mini retail networks was opened this month near Reading.

The BMW Group Academy will provide all technical and non-technical training for its franchised car and motorcycle dealers.

“In order to meet the growth in BMW and Mini UK sales volumes over the next three years we need to increase the number of people working in our dealerships from 11,000 to 12,500 by 2010,” says Jim O’Donnell, managing director of BMW (UK).

“By providing what we believe are the best training programmes, in the best facility in the industry in the UK, we are confident we will address this issue.”

The academy simulates a dealership environment and contains a 32-bay workshop for technical training, showrooms for BMW cars and motorcycles and Mini cars, and 22 training rooms. It also features an apprentice training area, its own residential accommodation and a clubhouse for the intake of 160 to 170 apprentices per year.

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