College students put in the driving seat with car donation

December 2, 2016

Students at Chichester College have been boosted after a generous donation from a local car dealership.
Peter Cooper Volkswagen, which is based in Terminus Road, have donated a VW Golf to the college’s motor vehicle department.

It will be used as a teaching tool for students, especially apprentices, who are working towards becoming employed as mechanics or motor vehicle technicians.

The car, which has a 2005 plate, will help them to gain more experience of working on different makes and models of car.

Andy Chater, head of learning for the college’s STEM subjects, said: “It is important for our students to be able to train on all types of vehicle – especially ones with more modern technology, such as this one.

“We have around 400 motor vehicle students at the college, including apprentices, and the support of local companies – like Peter Cooper Volkswagen – is vital.

We are extremely grateful to the generosity of the Peter Cooper dealership – normally we have to buy the cars for students to work on, so donations like this are really important to us.

Several of our apprentices have gone to the workshop in Terminus Road and they are now enjoying flourishing careers in the industry – that’s one of the reasons it’s so important to us to ensure we are working with local employers and building relationships with them.”

Peter Cooper Volkswagen in Chichester has a long history with Chichester College, with many of its staff having started their careers as apprentices, combining studying at the college with working at the dealership.

Marcus Talman, workshop manager at Peter Cooper Volkswagen, is vocal in his support of apprenticeships – and that’s what has driven the dealership’s decision to donate the VW Golf to the college.

He said: “It started for us around 10 years ago when we took on our first apprentice from Chichester College and it’s grown from there.

“Now we have a team of 10 in the workshop – eight have come through apprenticeships and that’s still growing.

Apprentices are an important part of our business, helping us to grow and develop – and we see it as part of our responsibility to help them do the same.

It’s important they have hands on experience and feel part of the team. That’s our approach and it instils confidence.

“We are proud of our relationship with the college, and that’s why we wanted to help by giving the students this car to work on. It’s another part of developing how we are working together.”