Automotive Academy Annual Lecture 2005

23 November 2005 #SMMT News



‘The Automotive Academy is working with UK training providers to raise their game.’ That was the message given at yesterday’s third Automotive Academy Annual Lecture


Giving his support to the Automotive Academy, Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, delivered the 2005 lecture in which he commended the aims and work of the Academy. Speaking to a packed audience of MPs, peers and senior industry executives in House of Commons Committee Room 14, Dr Paefgen said, ‘We are firm supporters of the Automotive Academy which strengthens the supplier base and better equips employees to combat the challenges facing them in business today. The work they have championed in promoting training and mutual co-operation among companies is a great step forward towards true partnership and competitiveness. We applaud the efforts of the Academy to improve levels of training everywhere. It gives us the chance to benefit from the pool of enormous talent in the engineering community in Britain.’


Joe Greenwell, Academy Chairman and Ford Motor Company’s Vice President responsible for Government Affairs in Europe, told the audience that in its 18 months of operation, the Academy has found training provision that is ‘not clearly focused on the defined needs of the automotive supply chain.’


He added, ‘We have found trainers who are insufficiently skilled or who are out of touch with the latest tools and techniques and we have found training courses which literally just pay lip service to what should be in-depth skill development. They just tick the boxes.’


The Academy is upgrading the capacity and capability of training providers as one it its priority programmes and by the end of this year over 300 trainers and assessors will have been through the Academy’s up-skilling packages.


Speaking of the ‘myriad of courses and trainers’ in the automotive field, Trade and Industry Minister, Gerry Sutcliffe MP said, ‘Frankly some of these are below standard. The added value of the Automotive Academy is its unique ability to cut through this complexity by setting national standards and delivering world-class offerings on your doorstep. One-stop shopping for automotive skills enhancement, endorsed by the industry: this is what the Academy is all about. The needs of business are now being put on centre stage, with the Academy articulating the sector’s needs in a simple and coherent way. Colleges and training providers must now be more responsive.’


Dr Alan Begg, Academy Chief Executive said, ‘The Automotive Academy is making a real difference. Tremendous progress has been made in the last year and there is clearly enthusiasm for our work in the industry. But it is essential that more companies get involved – the Academy needs the commitment of everyone involved – training providers and manufacturing companies. Now is the time to get involved with the Automotive Academy’.

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