Kia Motors UK has opened a dedicated training academy in Ruddington, south Nottingham.
The new facility has four workshops, six technical training rooms, a non-technical training room and a replica Kia showroom.
The new 17,500 sqft facility marks the first Kia dedicated centre in the UK to provide both technical and non-technical training courses.
The multi-million pound investment will deliver up to 2,500 apprentice delegate days, 3,600 technical delegate days and 1,400 non-technical delegate days this year.
To support the apprentice training programme, Kia has teamed up with the East Midlands Centre for Automotive Training (EMCAT).
The centre is accredited by ATA (Automotive Technician Accreditation) for light vehicle service maintenance technician, diagnostic technician and master technician levels.
Simon Hetherington, dealer development director, said: “Our scheme provides apprentices with the chance to learn the trade, earn good money and become qualified for their future career with the brand at the end of their studies.
“Through the new Kia Training Academy, we hope to have around 100 apprentices by the end of this year - that's an increase of almost 200% compared with today. Longer term, our aim is to have at least one apprentice in each Kia dealership.”
The opening of the Training Academy also marks a pivotal stage for Kia technicians at the Kia Killingholme import centre in Grimsby. Thanks to courses offered at the Training Academy, they are now all able to train to become qualified as Master Technicians, with half having received the qualifications already.
Andrew Moore, market development manager said: “I am confident in the future of the academy, Kia dealerships are very pro-active when it comes to employing Apprentice learners and the workshops we have run so far are proving to be a great success.”