£200,000 Fylde coast centre aims to bridge skills gap

Robert Oldale, Automotive Centre Manager at B&FC, welcomes Barry Gregson to the team in the new Auto Repair Centre
Robert Oldale, Automotive Centre Manager at B&FC, welcomes Barry Gregson to the team in the new Auto Repair Centre
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The rapidly changing demands of the automotive repairs industry has prompted one Blackpool college to invest £200,000 in new tech.

It has created an Accident Repair Complex which is designed to be a one-stop shop for training body panel repair specialists.

The new equipment aims to make sure students are trained on the latest equipment and to the needs of the industry.

The average age of technicians working in the industry is 42 and there area fears that a skills gap may develop if younger trainees do not get the training the industry needs.

At the helm of the new facility is Barry Gregson.

He said: “This new facility will ensure we are training students to work on the very latest in vehicle alignment technology, which they would expect to find throughout careers in industry.

“Having worked as a technical trainer for Car-O- Liner for more than 20 years I am keenly aware of the requirements of the collision repair sector in terms of equipment, skills and staff development – and the new Accident Repair Complex allows us to meet all those needs.

“This facility will see us provide the highest standard of training for re-accrediting those already working in the business, as well as those looking to complete their Senior IMI Accreditation.”

Robert Oldale, Automotive Centre Manager at B&FC, added: “We’re delighted with the new ARC facility which will allow us to provide industry with technicians who are highly experienced in using the latest technology for auto collision repairs.

“Having Barry means we have one of the industry’s most experienced professionals in high-level approved collision repair training.”