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Digital Appliance Academy is plugged in for training.

Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMET) has worked with leading electronics companies Samsung Electronics and Dixons Retail: Knowhow Home Service to develop innovative training which has enhanced the skills of employees working with the latest appliances.

The college's Samsung Digital Service Academy was launched in 2010 with the multi-national corporation and is now the main hub for training Samsung Premier Service centre staff from across the UK.

It proved so successful that the staff within the Digital Technologies Directorate at BMET went on to develop a second partnership with one of the world's largest specialist electrical and computing retailers Dixons Retail plc.

BMET worked with Dixons Retail's KNOWHOW Home Services, the delivery and installation service behind PC World, Currys, and Pixmania, to develop an Apprenticeship in Electrical and Electronics Servicing designed to increase the skills of employees in this sector.

The training, delivered to apprentices from Dixons Retail Academies across the UK, encompasses many vital aspects of technical training needed by employees along with skills which add value to the service they provide to customers. The technical training is delivered in weeklong training blocks at BMET's technology suites in central Birmingham. The apprentices are able to fine tune their IT, literacy and numeracy skills, gain valuable business experience and become technically proficient at diagnosing and resolving common and complex electrical issues relating to domestic and personal appliances. After initial skills training the apprentices can then choose to specialise in areas including wireless networking installations, 3D and Smart TV.

Corporate Development Director at BMET, Mustafa Shevket, said: "This successful training programme has been based on installation training, technical training, 'on the road' shadowing experiences and a mentoring system which ensure that the apprentices can fully support all facets of the business."

The first electrical and electronics technology apprentices graduated in 2011, trained in all after sales services including setting up home cinema systems to repairing broken laptops and PCs. A further 70 apprentices started on the programme in 2012.

The partnership has resulted in KNOWHOW becoming an industry leader in Apprenticeships, providing employment opportunities within its Field and Repair Centre operations. It has received an 'Employer Star' Award in recognition for its commitment to training and developing the workforce.

Steve Gibb, Director of KNOWHOW, said: "This successful training programme has brought together the teaching staff from the college and the technical trainers from KNOWHOW to jointly deliver this Apprenticeship. It encompasses all the knowledge and skills required to take the KNOWHOW team forward while enhancing the college's reputation as leading training experts in electronics and electrical servicing sector. The apprentices are part of the strong team of KNOWHOW technicians, engineers, installers and contact centre experts providing services for white and brown goods customers."

BMET is now also working in partnership with DSGI International, the umbrella organisation for Dixons Retails plc, Currys Digital, PC World and KNOWHOW Home Service.

Dixons Retail was also recently presented an employer award by BMET for its innovative approach to apprenticeships.

For more information call: 0845 155 0101 or visit Spotlight on...

IT industry Four up and coming stars of the IT industry are starring in a business-backed campaign to urge young people to take up Apprenticeships.

The four, from Atos, Capgemini, IBM and Logica, now part of CGI, feature in a film highlighting the varied careers in the IT industry and explain the importance of the sector to the country's economy. Employers, led by e-skills UK, the Sector Skills Council for Business and IT, are promoting the film across the sector and to young people. In addition, the National Apprenticeship Service will use the film in school resource packs and at careers events across the country.

To view and share the film, visit


KNOWHOW apprentices celebrate graduation with ITV's Emma Jesson
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 16, 2013
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