Skip to main content

Apprentice success celebrated at Thatcham Research graduation ceremony

Press release   •   Jun 19, 2019 10:31 BST

Dean Lander, Head of Repair Sector Services, takes to the stage to announce the winners
  • Four graduates honoured as ‘Apprentice of the Year 2019’ in VDA, Panel, Paint and M.E.T. disciplines
  • Thatcham Research awards first ever Vehicle Damage Assessor (VDA) Apprentice of the Year

Thatcham Research held its annual apprentice graduation ceremony at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry yesterday (June 18), awarding the title of ‘Apprentice of the Year 2019’ to four individuals in the VDA, Panel, Paint and M.E.T. disciplines.

The event, which formed part of ABP’s Body Repair Industry Apprentice Awards (BRIAA) 2019, saw apprentices, their families, employers and industry professionals gather together to celebrate the occasion.

Thatcham Research gave special recognition to four award winners; Dafydd Hughes of Paterson’s Auto New Market (Panel Apprentice of the Year), Charlie Spicer of Rainbow Bodyshops Ltd (Paint Apprentice of the Year), James Briggs of the Metropolitan Police (M.E.T. Apprentice of the Year) and Daniel Holloway of Ageas (VDA Apprentice of the Year).

Dean Lander, Head of Repair Sector Services at Thatcham Research, said: “This event celebrates the importance of nurturing talent and the value of apprenticeships to the body repair industry. All apprentices deserve recognition for their dedication, especially Dafydd, Charlie, James and Daniel, who are shining examples of what hard work can achieve.”

Undoubted talent

This year, 63 apprentices officially graduated from Thatcham Research, with the four Apprentice of the Year winners praised for progressing at an exceptional pace and demonstrating undoubted talent in their discipline:

VDA Apprentice of the Year 2019: Danny Holloway, Ageas

  • Thatcham Research identified its first VDA apprentice of the year for 2019, awarding Danny for demonstrating exceptional ability and commitment during his training.

M.E.T. Apprentice of the Year 2019: James Briggs, Metropolitan Police

  • James also received special recognition after completing Level Two and Level Three in Panel, and the same in M.E.T– a first for a Thatcham Research trained apprentice.

Paint Apprentice of the Year 2019: Charlie Spicer, Rainbow Bodyshops Ltd

  • Charlie remained focussed and keen to learn throughout his apprenticeship journey. Although he was the youngest member of the group, he was commended for having a mature and positive outlook whilst supporting other apprentices.

Panel Apprentice of the Year 2019: Dafydd Hughes, Patersons Auto

  • Dafydd was commended for quickly progressing to his Level Three, enabling him to undertake large body repairs using his own initiative. From the offset, Dafydd was committed to recording and submitting his evidence to a high standard on a regular basis. He was the Panel Apprentice Winner at the Bodyshop awards in 2018.

Lander continued, “It has been an honour to celebrate the achievements of these apprentices and employers. It really is testament to the efforts and achievements they have made throughout their apprenticeship journey.

“Thatcham Research has played an important part in helping people at different ages and stages of life to achieve their goals, to experience new opportunities and to play a full role as they progress into work. We wish them all every success and look forward to seeing how they use their newly developed skills in the future.”

Fulfilling potential

Earlier this year, the UK Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) confirmed that Thatcham Research achieved 92 per cent for its apprenticeship training Qualification Achievement Rates (QAR), with a steady increase in the number of learners achieving their apprenticeships on time. This result comes at a time when apprenticeship starts have fallen substantially across the UK, according to the National Audit Office.

Over 1,500 apprentices have trained at Thatcham Research’s state-of-the-art Automotive Academy since 2004.

Thatcham Research’s new apprentice intake starts in September, with spaces available in paint, panel, M.E.T. and VDA disciplines.

Call 01635 293174 or email customerservices@thatcham.org for more information and advice on apprenticeships.

Thatcham Research is the independent voice of automotive safety, security & repair, advising motorists, insurers and vehicle manufacturers to help reduce accident frequency, severity and costs and to realise the vision of ‘Safer cars, fewer crashes’, while driving standards in vehicle security.

As well as its world leading crash and track research, Thatcham Research develops repair methods amongst a number of other products and services within the collision repair industry for insurers, motor manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

In addition, Thatcham Research has administered the Association of British Insurer’s (ABI) Group Rating system for the past 50 years. Group Rating is an advisory system intended to provide insurers with the relative risk of private cars and light commercial vehicles.

A founder member of the international Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR), Thatcham Research has also been a member of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) since 2004.