Automotive Academy approves new spokes

08 March 2005 #SMMT News

The Automotive Academy board has given formal approval for two new regional spokes. Now granted full approval, spokes in the South East and South West will shortly become fully operational. They join the existing spokes in the Midlands, North West and North East.

The unique Academy structure is based on a hub and spoke system. Each spoke will identify localised skills needs, and then provide solutions based on globally competitive ‘Academy Validated’ or ‘Industry Recommended’ training providers, courses and training materials.

The Automotive Academy South West spoke will be hosted by the Learning and Skills Council in Swindon. It will cover areas to the south of Gloucestershire and west of Wiltshire and Dorset, including Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. The region is home to Honda’s hugely successful CR-V and Civic manufacturing facilities in Swindon and BMW Group’s Plant Swindon.

The Learning and Skills Council in Milton Keynes will host the Automotive Academy South East which will cover Kent, Sussex, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, and Buckinghamshire. Ford’s Transit facility in Southampton and BMW Group’s Plant Oxford, home of the MINI, are both within the South East region.

All the spokes offer regionally unique partnerships between automotive companies, academia, training providers and funding bodies which will ensure that globally competitive training programmes are available. They will all co-ordinate initiatives with the central hub, based in Birmingham.

Dr Alan Begg, Academy chief executive, said, ‘We are delighted to approve these new spokes. The UK regions both accommodate significant automotive manufacturing and we now need to make sure that every company, no matter how big or small, has access to high quality, Academy-approved training for their employees.’

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