National retailer Lookers has underlined its commitment to developing the next generation of motoring technicians by donating a car from its Audi division to Sunderland College.
The donation of an Audi A3 was made by Wearside Audi for use by students studying a range of technical diplomas, all of which follow National Occupation Standards and the City & Guilds syllabus.
The Audi A3 will be based at City Campus Park Lane and will see students get to grips with all aspects of the car as they work to improve their maintenance and repair techniques.
The course covers a range of key skills and covers every component of the car, from the tyres to the sat-nav. At the higher level, students learn how to remove, refit and adjust all systems.
The diplomas also allow Accident Repair Paint students to learn everything from rectification of body panels to full vehicle respray.
The donation forms part of Lookers’ wider campaign to help encourage young people into the motor industry, with the group’s own apprenticeship programme more than doubling its intake from 78 to 162 last year.
The retailer has welcomed 238 technical apprentices over the last three years and currently has over 550 apprentices on its books. Wearside Audi itself recently took on four apprentices, including two Technicians, one Apprentice Parts Adviser and one Service Advisor.
Paul Anderson, Aftersales Manager at Wearside Audi, said: “It’s vitally important to the future of the motor industry that we as retailers do what we can to encourage young people to consider a career as a vehicle technician. Today’s modern cars come equipped with a whole host of new technologies, much of which appeal to today’s young minds. Which is why we are pleased to be able to provide a working model to help students at Sunderland College build up their skills.
“We look forward to tracking the progress of these students and hopefully some of them will eventually decide to join our apprenticeship programme in the near future.”
Mel Reed, Curriculum Leader Automotive Engineering at Sunderland College, said: “Sunderland College Automotive Engineering Department are happy to have received a donation of an Audi A3 from Wearside Audi. This vehicle will help to give hands on experience on up to date models, which is invaluable to the learning and experience of our students.”