Ford Workshop for dealership apprentice technicians

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Ford apprentice technicians in the South East can now learn the skills of their profession in a new Ford Workshop at Central Sussex College.

Lord Tony Young, Skills and Apprenticeships Minister, opened the Ford Workshop yesterday as part of National Apprenticeship Week. Around 120 technicians on the Ford Masters Apprenticeship Programme will be trained in the new workshop while on block release at the college.

Ford has supplied three vehicles, engines, transmissions and tools to aid apprentices' instruction in the workshop, where apprentices will be trained for four annual two-week blocks throughout their course. Central Sussex College, in Crawley, becomes one of seven further education colleges selected by Skillnet, Ford's training provider.

Across the UK, 1,100 dealership technicians, including 40 females, are part of the Ford Masters Apprenticeship Programme. They follow a three-year course of on-the-job training in dealerships combined with instruction at local colleges and the company's Henry Ford College in Daventry, Northants.

Mike Willis, principal of Ford College which oversees the course, said: "The Ford Masters Apprenticeship Programme is an exciting route into the modern, high-tech working environment of today's dealership workshops.

"New vehicles depend on highly sophisticated technology and require servicing by technicians with the advanced skills and knowledge provided by this programme."

As they are on an approved apprenticeship scheme, Ford technicians are not only trained to standards set within the automotive sector, they also gain a recognised advanced apprenticeship qualification.

Richard Brooks, Central Sussex College director of technology, said: "We are delighted to show Lord Young and guests these fantastic facilities which will give Ford apprentices the best possible start to their careers. Investing in today’s trainees is essential for the continuing success of the motor industry."

The Ford apprentices, mainly aged 16 to 20 years, choose from 11 subjects including car and commercial vehicle servicing; service, accident repair and parts advice; and vehicle sales.

(source: Ford)

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