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New Preston College and Bowker Motor Group partnership to benefit apprentices

Posted on - 21st January, 2022 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Education, Fulwood, Preston Docks, Preston News
Habib Shama, Engineering Employer Engagement and Apprenticeship Specialist, 2 apprentices, Jonathan Rogan head of business at Bowker BMW, and Mark Taylor, Head of School for Engineering and Automotive Technologies

Lancashire automotive retailer Bowker Motor Group and Preston College have teamed up with a new long-term partnership.

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The new automotive technologies partnership will help apprentices learn a breadth of knowledge, skills and behaviours in their specific area. The aim is to help apprentices to become confident in carrying out maintenance and everyday repairs on vehicles, cars and motorcycles, through to more complex diagnostics and servicing.

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Preston College is currently the largest apprenticeship provider in its local area. Bowker Motor Group’s automotive retail franchise portfolio includes BMW, MINI, BMW Motorrad and Porsche, with centres in Preston and Blackburn. The group also operates Bowker Ribble Valley in Osbaldeston. 

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Preston College is committed to embedding industry-led curriculum across all of its provision types. The technical skills programme partnership with the Bowker Group will provide valuable experience and development opportunities that will ensure learners become sought-after within industry.

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The development of key provisions types, combined with the underpinning knowledge, skills and behaviours delivered in an education environment, will allow the pipeline of industry-ready learners to progress into permanent employment or an apprenticeship within the organisation, whilst adding value to Bowkers’ existing workforce.

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Jonathan Rogan, head of business at Bowker BMW in Preston, said: “As a Lancashire-based family business we are always looking for meaningful ways to invest in the county’s future.  Our new strategic relationship with Preston College is the perfect collaboration between two organisations who share the same values and vision for local learners.

“We’re especially excited to bring the unique strengths of both organisations together. Bowker Motor Group has a rich tradition for investing in local apprentices. We have several managers who started with us as apprentices. With Preston College’s help we can continue to create exciting careers and provide an even better learning environment for our apprentices.”

The partnership will see the two organisations work together to provide apprentices with high-quality training, delivery and assessment, whilst continuing to use the College’s industry-standard workspaces.

Mark Taylor, Head of School for Engineering and Automotive Technologies at Preston College, added: “With the relentless pace of change and the increasing number of electric cars, the automotive retail sector has witnessed considerable innovation over recent years. Our partnership with Bowker Motor Group will help us to keep ahead of the game by offering real life learning experiences with the latest automotive technologies in a commercial environment.

“There’s no doubt that partnering with one of Lancashire’s most-famous family businesses will offer our apprentices the chance to deliver first class outcomes whilst developing their skills in high quality, technology-rich learning spaces.”

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