Automotive Academy adds to rugby grand slam

28 April 2005 #SMMT News

Just days ahead of Monday’s celebration of Welsh rugby, the Automotive Academy now celebrates another victory for the Principality – this time for motor manufacturing companies. Automotive Academy chief executive, Dr Alan Begg has today (Thursday 28 April) officially launched the newest active spoke: Automotive Academy Wales.

The launch event was attended by more than 100 industry guests at the Welsh Automotive Forum (WAF), Bridgend, which will also host the new organisation. Dr Begg was joined by Tim Williams, chief executive of the Forum and the new chair of Automotive Academy Wales, Professor Garel Rhys OBE, of the University of Cardiff’s Centre for Automotive Industry Research. Prof Rhys will be supported by the new spoke manager, Roger Guest who will report to a board representing manufacturers, the automotive supply chain, the Welsh Automotive Forum, and the Welsh Development Agency.

In addition to engine manufacturing sites in Bridgend and Deeside, the automotive industry in Wales includes a large cluster of international component manufacturers, supported by a further 300 companies, mostly small and medium sized firms. In total some 28,000 people in Wales are employed in the sector, collectively generating over £2.5bn per annum.

Automotive Academy Wales, along with other spokes, will champion ‘Academy Validated’ or ‘Industry Recommended’ training providers, courses and materials, targeted at specific local skills needs. It supports companies locally; to help them identify training needs, recommend appropriate action and highlight any opportunities for assistance with funding – in short it is the ‘one-stop shop’ in the complex minefield of training.

Commenting at the launch event, Dr Alan Begg said, ‘We are delighted to be here to launch the Automotive Academy Wales. The region is home to globally renowned companies such as Ford, Toyota, Remploy and Robert Bosch, supported by a strong supply chain. We are delighted to have their support as we start to make real progress in developing the region’s skills. The Academy is dedicated to ensuring that the UK automotive industry has access to globally competitive training. It is our job to make sure this happens.’

Welcoming the launch, Prof Rhys commented, ‘We are delighted to launch the Automotive Academy Wales. We have a huge variety of companies in the automotive sector and our task is to make sure that employees are appropriately skilled. We look forward to working with all our companies to raise skills that are vital in introducing new technologies and improving productivity levels.’

Note to editors:

– A range of automotive training courses, including those which have gained the ‘Industry Recommended’ or ‘Academy Validated’ status can be found on the Automotive Academy database of automotive training courses at

– Automotive Academy Wales becomes the fourth active region joining spokes in the Midlands, North West and North East. The Academy has recently approved the formation of spokes in the South East and South West. They will be officially launched later this year.

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