Gateshead College to run the Ford Masters Apprenticeship Programme

Gateshead College takes pole position by winning contract to run the Ford Masters Apprenticeship Programme in the North East

The Gateshead College Skills Academy, based in Team Valley, has been appointed to provide the training for the Ford Masters Apprenticeship Programme (FMAP) – the only college in the North East selected to run the prestigious training scheme.

Nationally, the FMAP is managed by London-based Skillnet Automotive Academy. It has more than 1,000 apprentices who have signed up for the three-year course which combines on-the-job training provided by motor dealerships across the UK with local and residential college tuition.

Mike Willis, Principal of the Ford College, said: “The partnership with Gateshead College Skills Academy creates a strong platform in the North East from which we can develop both apprenticeship programmes and mature student training schemes.”

Situated on Team Valley, the £5.5 million Skills Academy is the most up-to-date facility in the region and has on-site a vehicle showroom, driving simulators, a rolling road, workshops with the latest welding and body repair equipment and electronic diagnostic facilities, body and paint shop, specialist welding facilities and spray booths.

Each apprentice will undergo a rigorous three-year programme, devised by Ford Motor Company and Skillnet, covering the full range of automotive mechanical and electrical engineering disciplines, including light and heavy vehicle repair, fast fit, vehicle body repair, vehicle refinishing and body fitting. It also offers training in sales, customer service, administration and business management. The course is well underway, with the first batch of learners having started a few weeks ago and more groups planned to start in September.

Kevin Marston, Head of Automotive and Logistics at Gateshead College Skills Academy, said: “We are very excited to be taking the Ford Masters Apprenticeship Programme forward in the North East and supporting the regional network of Ford dealerships.

“The partnership will further strengthen the college’s position as an organisation that can and does produce first-class training that meets the needs of the region’s industry, employers and trainees.”

For more information about the Ford Masters Apprenticeship Programme visit or telephone 01327 305008.

18 August 2008 Staff

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