Trainees move to Bicester
Bicester Heritage is to become the home for a classics-related apprenticeship scheme and training course.
Apprentices and full time students are to move from nearby Banbury and Bicester College to the former RAF Engine Test House this summer, in anticipation of the next course starting in September. Run by Activate Learning, the scheme was set up in September 2014 to encourage young people into working with classic cars.
Pablo Lloyd, chief executive of Activate Learning, says: ‘Our aim is to offer apprentices and students a direct line of sight to employment. This move will offer them an unrivalled learning experience, surrounded by industry enthusiasts and expertise, and the chance to build vital links with employers.’
The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs created the course after research showed that half of the 28,000 employees working in the vehicle renovation industry are aged 45 or older. Businesses are expected to need up to 150 apprentices a year for the next five years in order to protect the future of an industry that is worth an estimated £4.3bn a year.
FBHVC Chairman, David Whale says: ‘The instant success of the course meant it quickly outgrew the Bicester campus. The fact that ideal facilities, in absolutely the most appropriate environment existed so close at Bicester Heritage, was too good an opportunity to miss.’
Daniel Geoghegan, managing director of Bicester Heritage, adds: ‘We are focused on the future of our past. Skills transfer is a major pillar of our strategy.’
The UK’s best preserved World War II Bomber Command Station will soon house classic apprentices.