BMW Group Canada collision repair program investing in students of the future
Vancouver, B.C. - BMW Group Canada in conjunction with their BMW Group Certified Collision Repair Centres (CCRCs) is contributing $90,000 over three years to scholarships for the collision repair sector at two Canadian colleges. This unique program is active at both Vancouver Community College (VCC) and Centennial College in Toronto.
The aim, says Gary Lin, CCRC Program Specialist with BMW Group Canada, is to create awareness of BMW Group’s shop certification program, to demonstrate the quality of these certified facilities at the student level and to steer top students into the CCRC network at a time when finding qualified body technicians is a challenge. “We want students to have to opportunity to work in bodyshops of the 21st century and to understand the truly specialized nature of collision repair in today’s industry,” he explains.
Scholarship candidates are expected to complete a paid work term at a BMW Group CCRC.
The scholarship criteria are designed specifically for two-year, pre-apprenticeship college programs. Under the current agreement with VCC and Centennial College, the scholarships will have three intakes (i.e. students who began the program in the fall of 2018, those who will begin in September 2019 and again in the fall of 2020).
In order to qualify, applicants must maintain a GPA of 85 percent throughout the program, and also maintain attendance of 85 percent. They are also required to complete online BMW Group University courses and one in-class BMW Group Brand Academy session.
At VCC and Centennial College, five students were chosen by faculty members of the Automotive Collision and Refinishing department. Upon completion of their diploma, three of those students will receive the $5,000 BMW Group Body & Paint Pre-Apprentice Scholarship. The remaining two students will receive a scholarship of $2,000.
The timeline and criteria are similar for both colleges. The five qualifying students at each college are “the best of the best”, Mr. Lin says.
The five applicants will be interviewed by BMW Group CCRCs before the end of their second semester and must be employees at a CCRC for a minimum three-month paid internship period after the first year of their college program. “We want a chance to give students the insight that BMW Group CCRCs and the world of specialized collision repair are viable career option for them,” Lin says.