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Thatcham to reopen Automotive Academy

Thatcham Research is to reopen its Automotive Academy from July 6. Lockdown had seen the state-of-the-art facility closed for the longest period since it was opened in 1995.

Initially, the Automotive Academy will reopen to technicians holding an IMI accreditation that was due to expire during lockdown, who can now attend the site and complete their re-accreditation.

Ahead of the reopening, a number of changes have been implemented to maintain social distancing and protect technicians, says Dean Lander head of repair sector services, Thatcham Research.

“We’ve taken extra steps to uphold the highest possible levels of safety without impacting our ability to deliver world class training.”

Lander adds: “Over recent weeks, we’ve been working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure Thatcham Research is a safe space for colleagues and delegates. Classes have been restructured, the layout of the Academy has been redesigned to create more space and we’ve invested in new equipment to make the Academy as safe as it can be.”

Ahead of delegates returning, the following measures have been implemented:

  • Use of digital technology to enable technical demonstrations whilst observing social distancing
  • Reduced number of delegates per session
  • Investment in new equipment to create an open plan workshop space
  • Enhanced PPE for all delegates
  • Establishing and marking out safe routes of travel across the Academy building
  • Socially distanced training rooms
  • Frequent and robust cleaning in high traffic areas and deep clean of all areas daily

Lander continues: “Ever since Thatcham Research was established in 1969, safety has been at the heart of everything we do. In that respect, delegates can attend the Academy feeling confident that they are very well protected.”

“Not only are we making sure we have the safest training site with robust ‘Safe Systems of Work’ to shield bodyshop staff, but we have also adapted payment terms to help bodyshops protect their cash-flow and offered eLearning to loyal customers to help them maintain continuous professional development in their teams.”

Apprentices are scheduled to return to the Academy in September. Lander comments: “We are focused on protecting the commitment we, and apprentices, have made to keep learning and progression going through this period. Rather than stop, and by doing so negatively affect the career goals of over 120 young people, we will continue to harness all available digital platforms to ensure that their development is not held back.”