As one academic year draws to a close the team at SKIDZ are already busy making preparations to welcome a new intake of students and the familiar faces of young people returning to take a new higher level mechanics course being introduced for the first time in September.
The Institute of Motor Industry’s (IMI) Level 2 course will be led by new member of staff Craig Critch, who brings a wealth of experience having worked in training roles for BMW, EMTEC Colleges Ltd and Fiat Automotive Group.
As a training consultant to BMW Group Academy UK, Craig developed its apprenticeship programme and now SKIDZ’ students are set to benefit from his years of experience.
The introduction of the IMI Level 2 course continues SKIDZ’ progression into making more post-16 courses available to students wishing to continue their studies, and Craig is keen to make a difference across all of the charity’s educational offering.
“I see my job as a tutor is not only to teach my students the specific components of their course but also to inspire an enthusiasm for self-development and impart the skills they need to be able to also take their learning further themselves.
“I will be leading the IMI Level 2 course but I am also keen to use my knowledge and past experience to benefit all of our students, and tutors, by looking at how we can develop and improve our teaching methods and course offering. I’ve got a lot to keep me busy before the new school years starts!”
SKIDZ introduced the IMI Level 1 course, which addresses vehicle maintenance skills, last year. Many of its students are set to return in September to continue their studies on the Level 2 course, which looks at the removal, repair and replacement of vehicle parts while offering more practical experience of the skills learned so far.
The possibility of introducing the IMI Level 3 course, which moves into diagnostics, is also being discussed with high hopes for a launch in 2015.
Craig said: “We are really pleased that the majority of our Level 1 students have applied to continue their learning with the industry-accredited Level 2 course. The guide learning hours for this amount to 640 hours of teaching, which is equivalent to seven GCSEs, so it’s a major undertaking.”
SKIDZ CEO Graham Andrews said: “We are delighted to welcome Craig to our team and look forward to seeing what innovations he can bring to our educational programme.
“This is the latest step in our plans to develop our offering and create a framework which we aim to roll out across the country over the coming few years.”
Since its launch 15 years ago SKIDZ has helped more than 8,000 disaffected and disadvantaged young people in the region to gain vocational skills in motor mechanics.
The charity works with local schools and Amersham and Wycombe College to offer students of all abilities an opportunity to access motor mechanics courses and hopes to roll out this new framework across the country starting next year.
To find out more about SKIDZ courses and how to get involved or to make a donation visit: www.SKIDZ.org.uk.