National College for Motorsport Shares Best Practice
The National College for Motorsport, developed by Tresham College of Further and Higher Education, has been highlighted by the Learning and Skills Improvement Service and listed as one of OfSTED’s Good Practice Examples. The National College for Motorsport was established in 2003 within the heart of the UK’s Motorsport Valley and has remained committed to develop modern, well – equipped training facilities to provide an excellent learning experience.
Based at Silverstone Technology Park, the National College for Motorsport provides pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship and advanced apprenticeship race technician courses. The college has worked in partnership with motorsport industry professionals to develop courses that are relevant to the industry and provide well trained and skilled people each year to join race teams across the world.
Being close to many of the top race teams offers National College for Motorsport learners the opportunity to work with potential employers and adds expert knowledge to their experience.
After completing an initial training period, Motorsport qualifications are assessed within the working environment by highly skilled technicians who have worked within the industry themselves. The National College for Motorsport liaise with employers to develop practical and technical programmes suitable for the needs of the industry. To ensure that the most relevant skills are taught, an industry advisory group was established to advise and guide National College for Motorsport about the skills training required and that would benefit the apprenticeship programmes.
Apprentices at the college are able to work on purpose built race vehicles that regularly compete at the highest levels at racing circuits across Europe. This opportunity is available after the college built its reputation by working with various sector skills councils and awarding bodies to design and implement apprenticeship and advanced frameworks for race technicians to follow.
Previous learners from the college have progressed on to work in design and race engineering roles. As part of prestigious Formula One racing teams, which was an option only available to high level university graduates before this bespoke programme was developed. The provision offered by National College for Motorsport has enabled apprentices to aim higher and achieve more than they could imagine.
Jim Harrod, Head of School for Motorsport at Tresham said:
“Before we became involved in the Motorsport industry there were no race technician apprenticeships available. We worked with employers to find out what they wanted from apprentices and the skills that needed to be developed. An industry advisory working group was developed to test ideas and to guide the process.”
“We recruited staff from the industry and developed them as trainers and assessors. At the National College for Motorsport we feel it is important to be flexible about how the training and assessment is delivered for fully meet employers needs.”
“It was difficult trying to help an industry that didn’t know it needed help, to recruit and train the right people to prepare, repair and maintain their vehicles. Before we became established, they tended to use staff poached from other sectors that often didn’t have the right approach to work within the motorsport industry. Now they can be certain that if they recruit an apprentice, s/he will be properly trained and prepared for the demands of the Motorsport industry.”
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