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College keeps auto industry local in new partnership with RAC

3rd September 2015

The RAC has chosen Barking & Dagenham College as its partner in the launch of its new apprentice patrol academy pilot. Six new apprentices, the first recruits to the Greater London-based pilot, will spend two years in training to acquire the same skills as fully qualified RAC patrols.

The trainees will be working towards their Vehicle Maintenance and Repair apprenticeship which means they will study at the College’s Rush Green campus one day a week, whilst working for the RAC. On top of the apprenticeship training programme the new recruits will also receive 20 weeks’ RAC training, benefitting from the hands-on experience of being on the road with an RAC mentor. If the London academy proves successful, the RAC is hoping to roll out the training model nationally.

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Yvonne Kelly, acting Principal and CEO at Barking & Dagenham College said:

“We are delighted that the RAC has chosen us as their partner in their new academy. This area of East London has had links with the automotive industry for many years, so it seems fitting that the College is helping these young apprentices develop the high level technical skills they need for a successful career with such a trusted UK motoring organisation.”

The six apprentices, aged 18 to 23-years-old, spent their first week on an induction course at the RAC’s training centre in Harlow, Essex, before heading out on the road with their mentor patrols yesterday.

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RAC project manager Simon Cooper explains:

“This is something we’ve been looking at for a while because we recognise there is a lack of people with the skillset necessary for this kind of job. Not only do you have to be very highly skilled as a technician, but also be able to manage customers and deal with some potentially difficult situations.

“We chose Barking & Dagenham College as our partners as they came highly recommended as one of London’s leading apprenticeship providers. Their top-to-bottom client support has been crucial in helping us identify and recruit the best candidates and get them on board with their training as quickly as possible.”

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