Six of the Best for Automotive Academy

Published: Thursday 21 May 2009

Six Ford apprentices on a block release programme at Blackpool and The Fylde College are celebrating after becoming the first to complete their ATA training to Service Maintenance Technician level with the College’s Automotive Academy.

Blackpool and The Fylde College is one of only nine centres in the UK that delivers dedicated training to Ford of Britain, which now makes an ATA qualification a compulsory requirement of its apprenticeship programme.

Almost one hundred students from Ford attend the College in a programme of two-week block releases every two months during their three years’ training.

The six successful candidates, Chris Clayton, Tom Winn, Chris Carter, Tom Hardy, Andrew Smith and Steven Hodgin, are all NVQ Level 3 Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Repair students at the Academy – a recognised Centre of Vocational Excellence for automotive industry training. They can now look forward to becoming registered as ATA qualified Ford technicians.

Mark Armitage, Training Development and Quality Supervisor, Ford of Britain, has worked closely with the College in piloting and proving the new ATA assessment programme – the first to be delivered by a Ford training partner.

Commenting on the scheme, he said:

“The Blackpool team have been extremely professional and proactive from day one and the feedback from learners has been nothing but positive. We’re now working with the College to roll the ATA programme out to other Ford centres so we can share the best practice we’ve established in Blackpool across the network.’’

Mark Bateman, Curriculum Leader, added:

“With the increasing complexity and sophistication of vehicles and a growing shortage of skilled individuals, there has never been a greater need for competent staff. Ford are very keen to establish the ATA as a required standard for all their technicians, and we’re more than happy to be working with them to meet that target."

The ATA is endorsed by the Institute of the Motor Industry, the leading awarding body in the motor trade. To ensure it retains its status and keeps pace with technological developments, all Accredited technicians are reassessed every five years.

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