Thatcham’s Automotive Academy has teamed up with The IAEA (Institute of Automotive Engineer Assessors) to launch the first recognised apprenticeship scheme for Vehicle Damage Assessors (VDA) in the UK.
The move comes following unprecedented demand from the industry for this kind of apprentice programme and combines the reputation of Thatcham as the UK’s premier provider of body and paint apprenticeships, with the IAEA, who are solely dedicated to representing the interests of over 1500 automotive engineer assessors.
The result is the new Thatcham IAEA Assessor Apprentice programme, which whilst addressing concerns over a developing skill and age gap within the industry, also offers a unique opportunity for a new generation of VDAs.
The programme will provide fully funded apprenticeships for 16-19 year old bodyshop assessors, who will complete a two year block release programme. Upon successful completion, candidates will gain an IAEA qualification equivalent to apprentice Level 4 as well as a full NVQ Level 2 apprenticeship in M.E.T. (Mechanical, Electrical, Trim). Whilst focusing on the very specific skills of Vehicle Damage Assessment, this apprentice programme has been designed to include modules on customer service, panel and paint, producing a new breed of bodyshop assessor or insurance engineer, with an all round appreciation of vehicle assessment and repair.
Alan Doughty, IAEA Education Officer, explained further, “As technology within the construction and make up of modern vehicles continues to advance it has become increasingly imperative to recognise this changing landscape and consequently the role of a vehicle assessor, ensuring that those coming into the industry have the skills in place for the future. This apprenticeship will provide learners with a relevant and sought after industry qualification as well as a solid starting point to support them in their future progression within the automotive sector and as such we are delighted to be working with industry recognised experts, Thatcham.”
Lesley Upham, Commercial Director – Repair Sector, at Thatcham, said, ” Thatcham’s Automotive Academy have many years of experience delivering practical and industry relevant apprenticeships in the automotive sector and have developed facilities and technical knowledge that are second to none to support these programmes. Given the obvious industry demand it is very exciting that we now have the green light to deliver a VDA apprenticeship and even better that we have the full backing of the IAEA in ensuring that the programme is highly relevant, with a firm focus on the specific skills required for modern vehicle damage assessment.”
For more information: www.thatcham.org