Apprentices return to Thatcham Research Automotive Academy

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Thatcham Research is delighted that its Automotive Academy will welcome back apprentices for onsite training from Monday, September 7.

The state-of-the-art facility, which trains and equips the vehicle repair technicians of the future, successfully switched to an online learning platform during the pandemic lockdown. This meant the 155 apprentices on the programme could continue their education without disruption.

As lockdown restrictions have eased, the Academy has introduced various safety measures that has enabled it to welcome students back in a carefully-staged approach.

“With a robust safety protocol in place to protect everyone on site, we successfully re-opened the Academy on July 6th to technicians and engineers so that proof of safety critical competence and continuous professional development could be maintained,” Dean Lander head of repair sector services, Thatcham Research explained.

“The time is now right to welcome our first intake of apprentices back and we’re delighted we can continue to deliver our world-class training in an environment that has been designed to allow safe practical training to the next generation of technicians. That is our top priority.”

The Covid-safe measures that have been introduced to maintain social distancing and protect apprentices at the Thatcham Research Automotive Academy include:


  • Use of digital technology to enable technical demonstrations while observing social distancing
  • Reduced number of apprentices per session
  • Investment in new equipment to create open plan workshop space
  • Enhanced PPE for all apprentices
  • Establishing and marking out safe routes of travel across the Academy building
  • Socially-distanced training rooms
  • Daily deep clean of Academy platform and training rooms




Thatcham Research has also worked closely with its partner hotels in Newbury to ensure they are also implementing the required safety protocols to protect apprentices that are using this accommodation during their Academy training.

Lander said: “Our responsibility to the apprentices doesn’t stop when they leave the Academy. We’ve worked hard to get the assurances we need from our partner hotels to ensure the accommodation we use is safe and we’re communicating this to the apprentice employers so we can address any uncertainty they may have.

“We are dedicated to protecting the commitment our apprentices have made to their chosen career in the repair sector and we are totally confident their learning and development will not be held back in the current climate.”