New skills hopes

JLR to re­cruit trainees, P&A Wood takes on eight

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News - Tom Sey­mour

Jaguar Land Rover’s new Clas­sic divi­sion wants to es­tab­lish a new clas­sic car tech­ni­cian ap­pren­tice­ship pro­gramme to help ad­dress the skills gap in the in­dus­try.

JLR is lob­by­ing the Gov­ern­ment for fi­nan­cial sup­port and has al­ready launched its own re­cruit­ment drive to add new blood to its clas­sic car divi­sion.

Kevin Riches, Jaguar Land Rover Clas­sic divi­sion man­ager, says: ‘We’re look­ing at cre­at­ing an ap­pren­tice­ship pro­gramme in as­so­ci­a­tion with other brands that are in the same po­si­tion where there aren’t tech­ni­cians that have the skills to re­store and re­pair her­itage ve­hi­cles.

‘We want to cre­ate a pro­gramme that puts a fo­cus back on the me­chan­i­cal and artisanal skills in­volved with clas­sic ve­hi­cles.’ Riches ex­pects to re­cruit seven or eight clas­sic tech­ni­cians a year.

P&A Wood, a clas­sic Rolls-Royce and Bent­ley re­pair spe­cial­ist in Dun­mow, Es­sex, has taken on eight new clas­sic ap­pren­tices. It has al­ready cre­ated its own four-year clas­sic ve­hi­cle restora­tion ap­pren­tice­ship. Train­ing in­cludes mod­ules on up­hol­stery, body­work, ser­vic­ing and en­gine re­builds.

Mark Hews, Head of P&A Wood ap­pren­tice scheme, says: ‘Ap­pren­tices are our fu­ture. ‘You can’t learn the skills that me­chan­ics and coach­builders need in a full time col­lege or univer­sity. You need to have that hands-on skill.’

Ap­pren­tice takes a hands-on ap­proach to an XK150 in­te­rior.

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