Bentley Training Facility opens at South Cheshire College
Bentley Motors has opened a new dedicated apprenticeship Training Facility, a workshop and classroom-based institution, home to Bentley’s largest apprentice intake in a decade.
The new Facility, based at apprenticeship training provider Total People within South Cheshire College, has been developed as part of Bentley’s new manufacturing apprenticeship scheme, focused on strengthening core skills as Bentley prepares for the introduction of its SUV in 2016, and future growth.
The programme will utilise a dual education system, a tailored method based on competence profiles with approximately 70 per cent of time devoted to practical and 30 per cent to theoretical learning within chosen profession areas in manufacturing.
Commenting on the official opening, Wolfgang Dürheimer, Chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors, said: “Today is an important milestone. We are not only welcoming our apprentices to Bentley, but introducing them to a new dedicated facility, and a brand new apprenticeship approach, inspiring them to pursue rewarding careers in engineering and manufacturing.
“The foundation of future skills and knowledge comes from recruiting apprentices who will, long-term, become our skilled professionals and experts. And for them the hard but very rewarding work starts now. This new facility, and the use of dual education and our skilled experts will offer invaluable experience throughout, and a pathway to a structured future.”
Together with Wolfgang Dürheimer, Edward Timpson MP officially opened the Bentley Training Facility this morning at South Cheshire College. He commented: “Apprenticeships are a great way for young people to learn and to get experience that is of value in the real world. Having helped Bentley to secure a University Technical College recently, I am delighted that they are also continuing to invest in apprenticeships. This month their largest intake for over a decade will begin their training and will benefit from a new Bentley training facility and tailored curriculum. This is great news for young people in Crewe.”
Bentley will use its own experts to design and deliver the skills and training on the apprenticeship programme, having introduced four Master Trainers who will design and deliver the practical curriculum, focusing on four core areas: Trim, Wood, Paint and Mechatronics.
The new facility within South Cheshire College will have two studios, one focusing on Trim and the other on Wood, where 40 apprentices will use workstations to train on practical elements, under tuition from the Master Trainers. Technical theoretical development will take place in a study area adjacent to the workshops. The programme will be blended with weekly practical sessions at Bentley’s manufacturing headquarters.
South Cheshire College is one of three institutions being used for the programme, with Mechatronics the focus at Total People’s training centre in Telford, and paint being taught at Stoke-on-Trent College.
The new approach to the programme has seen Bentley experts and its human resources team work closely with Total People to develop the required standards, the curriculum content and new facilities.
Nigel Hartley, Managing Director of Total People, commented: “Today sees the fruition of an intensive period of work to develop a bespoke set of standards enabling Bentley to deliver an apprenticeship programme tailored towards its needs. The investment in both this new training facility and the use of Bentley Master Trainers, supported by Total People’s training excellence will play a significant part in the delivery of the skilled Bentley workforce of the future.”
The opening of the new facility adds to Bentley’s long established apprenticeship programme, running for more than 40 years. The latest intake includes 52 apprentices, 12 of which will be based permanently at Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe, working in a number of different engineering and commercial fields.
In addition to the apprenticeship programme, Bentley offers other trainee programmes, including graduate schemes, around 150 work experience placements each year and has an established school liaison programme providing workshops in local schools.
The first day for the new Bentley apprentices follows the recent announcement that a University Technical College (UTC) will be opened in Crewe in 2016, with Bentley playing a crucial role.
This new college will offer an exciting and inspiring education for young people seeking a pathway to employment and further education.
Bentley was also recently named as one of Britain’s Top Employers for the third year running by the Top Employers Institute. Highlighted was Bentley’s dedication to the personal development, working environment and employee culture of the 3,700 colleagues who work at the Crewe headquarters.