College training moves into top gear

Mar 20, 2007

The high-level consortium, comprising Barnfield College and 13 other leading colleges across the country, will revolutionise training in Britain’s £10 billion motor vehicle industry.

The consortium, which has just been signed off at a ceremony at Jaguar Cars in Birmingham, offers employers a national one-stop skills shop in motor vehicle engineering, with the trainees studying specialty courses at the various colleges.

Barnfield will be the specialist college in south-eastern England for heavy and light vehicles, body repairs and painting. The scheme could see hundreds more students from outside the Luton area training at the college.

The training scheme, which will guarantee reliable and consistent high standards across the UK, will involve more than 3,000 apprentices, taught by more than 200 lecturers in state-of-the-art facilities worth more than £50 million. The training is worth more than £10 million annually.

Tony Joyce, Barnfield Technology Campus Director, said: "Being part of this vital national consortium gives Barnfield the chance to increase the level and quality of resources on offer to key employers and to drive up standards of motor vehicle training. Barnfield’s training can now compete with any other institution at an international level.

"Apart from apprenticeship training, we will be able to offer industry updating, management and soft skills training and bespoke upskilling."

The size and reach of the consortium will allow it to compete for lucrative national training contracts. It is already working with many leading vehicle companies including Vauxhall, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Toyota.

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