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Green Light for Repair Sector Single Skill Apprenticeships

Press release -

Green Light for Repair Sector Single Skill Apprenticeships

The continued long term funding for apprenticeships in core occupations including Paint, Panel and Mechanical in the Automotive Collision Repair Sector has been secured. Following extensive consultation with the Department for Business Innovation & Skills, the Collision Repair Sector Trailblazer Group* will now develop standards in these core disciplines that will safeguard long established occupations, in the knowledge of continued Government funding for apprenticeships for the foreseeable future.

According to the Collision Repair Sector Trailblazer Group, without funding for Single Skills Apprenticeships in Paint, Panel and Mechanical, recognised qualifications in core occupations required to safely and efficiently repair collision damaged vehicles could have been lost. This would have exacerbated the existing skills gap, highlighted in the economic climate survey published by ABP club, in the automotive repair sector, and had a more serious long term impact on the industry.

The UK Government is applying significant focus on Apprenticeships and implementing reforms in both their frameworks and how they are funded. Under these reforms, groups of employers known as Trailblazers are leading the way and implementing changes to Apprenticeships across UK industry. As a result of these outcomes, the Government is setting funding caps for Apprenticeships. Sectors that do not have Trailblazers run the risk of losing Apprenticeship funding.

Dean Lander, Head of Operations at Thatcham Research said “Supporting young talent to enter this industry is imperative. Securing commitment from the Government for continued support for apprenticeships in this sector is a significant achievement. Next we must find new ways to show off this technically challenged and fascinating industry to schools, colleges and the talent of the future”.

Over the coming weeks and months, theGroup will be building a comprehensive consultation and communication plan to ensure the standards are fit for the future of the Automotive Collision Repair Sector. It will also work collaboratively with other automotive repair groups that have already started on this journey, to ensure all standards complement each other and enable the safe and effective repair of motor vehicles by highly skilled technicians.

Trailblazer Chair Tom Hudd, UKARRC Technical Services Manager, Direct line Group said “The industry is in need of modern repair techniques to be added to the individual disciplines that this Trailblazer group are passionate about building, we will create forward thinking apprenticeships that will support the industry in building a solid platform for the future”.

*The Collision Repair Sector Trailblazer Group consists of: Ageas, Apollo Motor Group, Aviva, AXA, Balgores, Barrett’s of Canterbury, BMW, Ford Retail, The IMI, LV, Nationwide, NCR Bodyshops, Ridgeway, Solus, UKAARC, Vizion Network, VWG, XL Motors

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Thatcham Research is the independent voice of automotive safety & repair, advising motorists, insurers and vehicle manufacturers to help reduce accident frequency, severity and costs and to realise the vision of ‘Safer cars, fewer crashes’.

As well as its world leading crash and track research, Thatcham tests and accredits crash repair parts, vehicle repair technicians, and a number of other products and services within the collision repair industry for insurers, motor manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

A founder member of the international Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR), Thatcham has also been a member of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) since 2004.

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Safer cars, fewer crashes...

As the UK's only insurer funded automotive research centre, Thatcham Research enjoy a wide remit at the forefront of the latest vehicle technology. Thatcham's leading work in vehicle safety and security has a vital role in shaping the designs of new vehicles, whilst the centre is also seen as a key industry player at the forefront of driving standards in vehicle body repair.

Thatcham's Crash Laboratory is the only official UK crash testing centre for consumer safety body Euro NCAP and are viewed as a centre of excellence when it comes to active vehicle safety, particularly the evaluation of new Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) which provide the foundation for future vehicle autonomy.

Enjoying an increasingly global influence in both the insurance and automotive sectors, Thatcham Research expertise is in great demand with a range of opinion leaders being regularly asked to provide their experience and know-how at high profile events and in the media, living up to their reputation as ‘Experts in Safety, Security and Crash Repair’.

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