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Dan, one of the 1,400 Apprentices who has trained with Thatcham Research since 2004 #NAW2017
Dan, one of the 1,400 Apprentices who has trained with Thatcham Research since 2004 #NAW2017

Press release -

Thatcham Research Hosts the New Wave of Potential Bodyshop Technicians for Apprentice Week

  • Leading repair training provider celebrates Apprentice Week (#NAW2017) with visits from local schools
  • Children from local schools, shown the ‘repair ropes’ by leading Thatcham Research experts
  • Thatcham Research supports apprentice award at Newbury College
  • Thatcham Research has given more than 1,400 apprentices essential skills since 2004

As Apprentice Week celebrates its 10th Anniversary this week from 6 – 10 March, Thatcham Research is continuing to lead the way in closing the skills gap for core occupations including Paint, Panel and Mechanical in the Automotive Collision Repair Sector.

With the advent of new car safety technologies (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems), materials and components, the skills required to assess and return crash-damaged vehicles to the road affordably and safely are very much in demand. However, due to the rapid development of this space, those in-demand skills are in short supply.

“This is why Apprentice Week is such an important calendar date for the industry,” said Dean Lander Head of Repair Sector Services, Thatcham Research. “Apprenticeships lay secure foundations in rapidly evolving sectors. Without a razor-sharp focus on developing innovative Vehicle Repair Apprenticeships, the industry cannot keep up with the pace of change. It’s fundamental that apprenticeships in this sector provide young talent with the practical skills required to thrive in the modern bodyshop.”

As part of Apprentice Week 2017 Thatcham Research invited local schools to attend an open day, Dean continues, “It’s important that young minds are inspired by the opportunities a career in the repair sector can bring. The digital native generation has grown up with ever-changing technologies and it’s this inherent ability to adapt that the industry must find new ways to tap into.”

The open day saw a number of pupils from the The Clere School, Hampshire, amongst other schools, attend. They were treated to a short talk from key industry figures Tom Hudd, Operations Manager at Thatcham Research’s Repair Technology Centre (RTC) and Dean Lander. This was followed by a tour of the RTC and the Academy – two facilities which are renowned for excellence within the industry.

“We were delighted to be asked to visit Thatcham Research. We have a number of students who are considering careers in the automotive industry and this was an unrivalled opportunity for the children to learn and be inspired by leading experts. They’ve been excited all week!” said Cheryl Wheeler a teacher at The Clere School.

Thatcham Research also supported the Best Apprentice in a Medium Business Award at the Annual Apprenticeship Awards at Newbury College, which was given to Peter Johnston, Snell Advanced Media on Tuesday 7th March. The awards celebrate the achievements of Newbury College apprentices and their supporters.

Case Study – Winner of ‘Apprentice of the year 2016’

John Burns – Solent Bodybuilders and Repairs Ltd

John has recently completed his apprenticeship at Thatcham Research. Throughout his training John has shown great determination and enthusiasm to achieve his qualification, attributes contributing to his success.

What made you apply for an apprenticeship?

The appeal of earning money and learning, and the opportunity to go to study at Thatcham is what made me choose this apprenticeship.

What do you specialise in?

My apprenticeship specialized in commercial vehicle repair, but I also like to work on cars, and spend some of my free time helping out at my dad’s body shop.

What did you enjoy most about the Thatcham Research Apprenticeship?

It was amazing in so many ways so I couldn’t possibly say one thing I enjoyed the most. The highly skilled staff that work there have helped me learn so much and guided me along the way. There is always someone to give you support if you need it. One of the most enjoyable things from my time there has to be the group of friends you make, and the great times in and out of college you have.

How did you feel becoming ‘Apprentice of the year’?

It actually felt amazing! It made me feel that all the hard work, the hours of studying at college and countless hours of on the job training has finally paid off. It made me realise that if you work hard, help others and stay positive you will get rewarded.

What would you say to others considering an apprenticeship to begin their career?

I would say to them - go for it. Be prepared to put in 100% effort and be willing to learn. It’s a great way to begin your career, which can lead to more opportunities within the auto industry.

Thatcham Research has a more complex operation than many realise. It has a unique Repair Technology Centre at the forefront of the latest vehicle technology research, spanning safety, security and repair. Our products and services extend beyond to include training, repair methods and apprenticeships.

Thatcham Research is working with a number of companies specialising in automotive repair offering a range of apprenticeships from Panel, Paint, M.E.T, VDA and Customer Services.



As a leading provider of fully researched repair methods and the only automotive training provider in the UK backed by world-renowned research capabilities, Thatcham Researchleads the field in the knowledge of new technology and repair techniques.

For further information on how our products and services can support your business, please contact our dedicated customer service team on 01635 293174.

Press contacts

Tom Flisher

Tom Flisher

Press contact PR Manager 07876 755 615

Thatcham Research

Safer cars, fewer crashes...

As the UK's only insurer funded automotive research centre, Thatcham Research enjoy a wide remit at the forefront of the latest vehicle technology. Thatcham's leading work in vehicle safety and security has a vital role in shaping the designs of new vehicles, whilst the centre is also seen as a key industry player at the forefront of driving standards in vehicle body repair.

Thatcham's Crash Laboratory is the only official UK crash testing centre for consumer safety body Euro NCAP and are viewed as a centre of excellence when it comes to active vehicle safety, particularly the evaluation of new Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) which provide the foundation for future vehicle autonomy.

Enjoying an increasingly global influence in both the insurance and automotive sectors, Thatcham Research expertise is in great demand with a range of opinion leaders being regularly asked to provide their experience and know-how at high profile events and in the media, living up to their reputation as ‘Experts in Safety, Security and Crash Repair’.

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