Ruislip-based Skillnet Automotive Academy to join the London Task Force on Apprenticeships

Ruislip-based Skillnet Automotive Academy, the UK’s leading training provider to the automotive industry, has been selected by the Government to join the London Task Force on Apprenticeships.

The Task Force is headed by Minister for Skills David Lammy and comprises employers, local government representatives, college principals and training providers, and aims to persuade more London employers to offer apprenticeships.  It will focus on public sector employers, and small and medium-sized private enterprises, which comprise 86 per cent of all businesses in London – the highest proportion of any part of the country.

The Taskforce will also work with employers to encourage them to open up their apprenticeships to the increasingly diverse workforce of the future. Currently, nearly a third of the population of the City of London is from an ethnic minority background.

Skills Minister David Lammy said:

ldquo;There aren’t enough apprenticeships available in London – and London’s people, young and old, deserve better. That’s why I have set up the London Apprenticeships Task Force to boost their growth.

“Apprenticeships are valued across Britain as a means of unlocking people’s talents and providing employers with a well-trained workforce which helps their business succeed.  But more than that, apprenticeships are about young people learning from older people, about handing knowledge on to future generations, and about giving young people the self-respect that might prevent them wasting their talents or getting involved in crime.”

As part of the Government’s ambitious plans, by 2013 all suitable qualified school leavers will be entitled to an apprenticeship place. As the demand for apprenticeships grows, the Government hopes that over the next decade, one in five young people will start an apprenticeship.

Skillnet is the UK’s leading apprenticeship training provider to the automotive industry with, at any one time, around 2,500 apprentices on training programmes across the UK.

The experience and quality of Skillnet’s staff resulted in the company recently being selected by Ford Motor Company to manage the prestigious national Ford Masters Apprenticeship Programme. Skillnet also deliver national apprenticeship programmes for DAF Trucks and Scania Great Britain Limited.

Lee Acton, Chief Executive of Skillnet, said: “I am extremely pleased to have been asked to work with the Task Force. Skillnet believes there is no substitute for recruiting the best candidates and delivering training of the highest quality. Businesses in London face some real challenges in doing this.

“It has long been recognised that a highly-trained workforce is essential to customer satisfaction and dealer profitability and Skillnet is focused on providing the market leaders in both the car and commercial vehicle sectors with a quality service.”

Skillnet apprenticeship programmes are part funded by the Learning and Skills Council and cover 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.

Skillnet was one of the first training providers in the motor industry to achieve the prestigious Centre of Vocational Excellence award from the Learning and Skills Council. It has since continued to receive many awards and commendations from the training industry, including ISO 9001:2000, the Matrix Standard, Automotive Technician Accreditation, UKAS Quality Management and Investors in People.

18 August 2008 Staff

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