New facility aims to drive forward recruitment of vehicle apprentices in the region

23 November 2017

The High Sheriff of Suffolk (Geoffrey Probert) opened a new vehicle maintenance facility for apprentices in East Anglia this week.

The centre received investment from the college and representatives from The Institute the Motor Industry (IMI), Ipswich buses and other local firms attended a launch that took place at the Otley campus.

The dedicated ‘vehicle service and maintenance workshop’ will be used to specifically train light and heavy goods vehicle maintenance technicians.

It is thought that this will be the only place in the region to teach heavy goods vehicle maintenance qualifications.

Acting Principal of the college, Jan Townsend, said, “As a college we need to work closely with industry so that we can support new generations of trainees to fill positions in the job market. It became clear that when talking with the motor industry that we needed to try and champion engineering careers – particularly in relation to opportunities in light and heavy service vehicle maintenance. Therefore, we have responded to these needs by investing in a brand new training centre. We currently have over 50 vehicle maintenance apprentices and these are numbers we are looking to further develop in the future. We would like to thank the High Sheriff (Geoffrey Probert) for opening the facility and all of the businesses who came along to support the launch.”

The centre is part of a continuing plan to support motor vehicle engineering apprentices. Most recently, the college shook hands on a deal with Ipswich Buses and welcomed the donation of two new buses to the Otley campus for students to hone their skills.

Nigel Daniels, engineering manager at Ipswich Buses, said, “We currently have three apprentices with the college and we are looking to take on more in the future. Apprentices and apprenticeships are the future. This is a college I would recommend to others.”

17-year-old Leon Fearn is from Tattingstone. He is currently studying on a level three apprenticeship qualification with the college. He works for Paul Banyard at PB Autos and said, “The new facility looks amazing. It’s a lovely place to study.”

In addition to supporting apprenticeships in the vehicle maintenance field, the college has a number of apprenticeship vacancies that they are looking to fill in all types of areas such as agriculture, business, floristry, horticulture and many other professions.

For more details about these apprenticeship opportunities you can call 01473 784190 or email

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