WELWYN GARDEN CITY – England Raytheon Professional Services, a long-established company offering training solutions to government agencies and commercial organizations worldwide, has joined forces with Axalta Coating Systems in the U.K. on its Paint and Refinish Apprenticeship Program for body shops.

Anthony Cashel, Marketing Manager for Axalta Coating Systems in the U.K. and Ireland, explained, “We approached Raytheon because it has a huge amount of experience in training and also working with the automotive industry. This combination made it the ideal partner to help make the apprenticeship program for the U.K. body shops stand out from the rest.”

The Axalta Paint and Refinish Apprenticeship Program has been designed to help apprentices working in U.K. body shops develop valuable new skills, techniques and technology expertise that will help them to work quickly and productively.

“Apprentices in the program are trained to use some of the latest products and equipment at our state-of-the-art training academy in Welwyn Garden City, north of London, England. They are also mentored at their place of work by dedicated Raytheon development coaches who regularly assess their work and offer help and advice. This ensures us that the apprentices are obtaining the required level of learning needed to qualify to government standards,” says Cashel.

The three-year program gives apprentices the opportunity to achieve Level 2 and 3 full framework qualifications. In the third year, they are also assessed for ATA at Senior Paint Technician Level.

“We believe the training we are providing to body shop apprentices will meet and exceed industry requirements for today’s technicians,” says Cashel. “They should then be able to fill skills gaps in the workforce, and introduce in the body shops in which they work new techniques and technology that are designed to increase productivity and to help provide a competitive edge.”

Apprentices are currently being invited to apply for the 2015 training program. Any U.K. body shop interested in taking on an apprentice, or anyone wishing to join the training scheme, can register their interest at www.axalta.co.uk/apprenticeship-programme. Alternatively they can contact Charlotte Coombes, Administration Assistant for Axalta Coating Systems in the U.K., at +44 1707 518009. A free information pack about the program is available on request.