Ireland's Publication for the refinishing & associated Industries

New apprenticeship standards launched in the UK to drive quality in bodyshops

East Midlands-based national training provider, Remit Group has announced the introduction of new standards in Vehicle Damage Panel Technician and Vehicle Damage Paint Technician, with further MET and Specialist Tyre Operative apprenticeship standards expected later this year across the UK.

As an organisation, Remit Group continues to invest in innovative training delivery for the automotive sector in line with what employers are looking for and has already introduced new apprenticeship standards for light and heavy vehicle technicians in partnership with some global manufacture brands.

The Vehicle Damage Paint Technician Standard is a Level 3 programme  designed to develop expert working knowledge of the preparation and refinishing of vehicles using recognised industry techniques.

Apprentices are required to understand relevant theory and be able to complete a range of refinishing tasks including panel preparation of various substrate materials and the application of foundation materials all the way through the refinishing process to successful fade outs, “blow ins” and the application of tri stage pearlescent finishes.

The Vehicle Damage Panel Technician Level 3 apprenticeship is designed to develop technicians’ working knowledge of the repair and replacement of vehicle body panels using recognised manufacturer and industry techniques.

This apprenticeship will require technicians to complete a range of vehicle accident repairs, from the smallest panel repairs all the way through to more complex structural panel removal and refitting, and measurement and realignment of structural chassis systems.

As well as demonstrating practical competence, apprentices will be required to be fully compliant with all current, recognised industry standards and legislation.  Both standards place a clear emphasis around customer service, therefore programmes include strong focus on communication skills.

Apprenticeship standards have been developed by employers within the vehicle body repair industry in response to the needs of bodyshop owners and managers to provide new technicians with the skills needed to be fully competent at the end of their apprenticeship.

As part of these new standards, apprentices must now pass an End Point Assessment at the end of their programme. This final assessment provides a robust and independent test to demonstrate an apprentice is fully occupationally competent. End Point Assessment occurs when the employer, the apprentice and the training provider agree that the apprentice has reached the required standard. It will include an online knowledge test, a range of practical skills tests and a professional discussion.

Remit Group has developed programmes to help employers attract and train new talent into their business utilising the apprenticeship programme.

Apprentices will train on block release at the Remit Automotive Academy in Derby, where they will work with highly experienced tutors to help build their knowledge and skills. Remit Group has developed a comprehensive programme to support workplace mentors to plan and co-ordinate the workplace training elements which will ensure apprentices can apply and develop their skills and stay on track between college blocks.

Christine Peddie, Automotive Business Director for Remit Training, said: “The move to standards has been a welcome one for the many employers we work with. They are based on employers’ expectations of what they are looking for in an apprentice and the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need in the workplace.

“We’re confident that we are playing a key role in raising the standards of apprenticeships across the sector. In delivering these new programmes we are helping to develop the next generation of Bodyshop technicians, who are fully prepared for the world of work, and the challenges and developments this industry presents.

“We look forward to introducing these new standards this summer and welcoming new cohorts of Panel and Paint Technicians to the Automotive Academy later this year.”

For more information on the new standards, benefits of the Apprenticeship Levy, or the range of apprenticeship programmes offered by Remit Group, click here.