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Sunday, June 23, 2024

National Apprenticeship Week: Councillor Shanker leads ribbon cutting to open all-new Kia Academy

UK
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Automobile Magazine
Editor | News | United Kingdom

Today, Leader of Derby City Council, Baggy Shanker, and President & CEO of Kia UK, Paul Philpott, have officially opened the all-new Kia Academy with a ceremonial ribbon cutting. The ceremony coincides with National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) 2024, further emphasising the company’s dedication to nurturing new talent in the automotive industry.

The Kia Academy has moved to a purpose-built 40,000 sq. ft. building within St. Mowden Park in Derby. Nestled in the heart of England, the site will equip students with key STEM skills and knowledge required to meet the rapidly evolving demands of the automotive industry. The building has been customised exclusively for Kia UK to facilitate advanced electrified training, upskilling apprentices and adult learners, and empower technicians to become leaders in electrification.

NAW is a seven-day celebration of the achievements of apprenticeships around the country and the positive impact they make to local communities, businesses and the wider economy. The theme for this year is Skills For Life; encouraging everyone to consider how apprenticeships can help provide lifelong skills and knowledge.

The state-of-the-art new Kia Academy is purpose designed to provide these skills to apprentices and adult learners through Kia Apprenticeships, led by Skillnet.

Kia is supporting NAW this year using social media to highlight Kia Apprenticeships, available vacancies and the benefits of the programme.

Speaking about the opening of the all-new Kia Academy, Cllr Shanker said: “It’s a great honour to have been invited to open this fantastic new training facility. Kia has chosen to invest in Derby and its people, bringing its innovative approach and leadership in electrification to the region. Training and technical skills and innovation have always been at the heart of Derby and we look forward to and welcome the successful unification between Kia and the area.”

Paul Philpott, President & CEO of Kia UK Limited, said: “We are delighted to officially open the all-new Kia Academy here in the heart of Derbyshire. I would like to offer my gratitude to Cllr Shanker for opening this exciting facility, which will be the home for all Kia apprentices and adult-learners. As the automotive industry advances with electrification at its heart, we continue to highlight the importance of technical training and apprenticeships. These students will become the industry-leaders of the future and form the backbone of Kia.

“I am excited to see how the Kia Academy grows over the coming years and watch as it engages and educates the next generation of Kia experts. Having first launched our apprenticeship programme 19 years ago, the all-new Kia Academy marks the next confident step in our journey to becoming a leading provider in sustainable mobility.”

During last year’s NAW, in February 2023, Kia UK partnered with Skillnet. Established in 1998, Skillnet is now the UK’s largest provider of apprenticeships to the automotive industry and has spent the last 25 years delivering award-winning bespoke learning and apprenticeship programmes all over the UK.

In addition to Paul Philpott and Cllr Shanker, the ribbon cutting was attended by: Eugene Lowry, Managing Director of Skillnet; Leigh Jeffs, Director of 3PLRE, and Julian Munday, Director of Parogon. Working closely with Kia UK on the all-new Academy project to ensure the new facility was delivered to the highest standards, 3PLRE is a real estate advice company and PAROGON was the principal contractor.

Derby was chosen as an ideal location for the Academy for its excellent transport links, proximity to the East Midlands airport, and easy access to the M1 motorway.

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