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Nissan partnership attracts Russians to Gateshead

Date 4 Jun 2007

Russian ambassadors have visited Gateshead College on a fact-finding mission as they look into a possible partnership with Nissan. The Auto Transport and Electro-mechanical College in St Petersburg plans to form a partnership with Nissan’s new manufacturing plant in the Russian city and director of the college, Sergey Korabelnikov, is using Gateshead College’s Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) as a benchmark for best practice.

Since opening the ACE in 2005, Gateshead College has formed a strong and productive partnership with Nissan in Sunderland. Based in Team valley, the £5.5 million building incorporates a complete training centre for Nissan apprentices, including simulated production lines, a rolling road for vehicle testing and specialist welding facilities.

Gateshead College’s principal, David Cheetham, said: “It is a great honour to welcome the foreign ambassadors. We are thrilled that they have chosen to look to Gateshead College for help with developing a partnership with Nissan in St Petersburg.”

Gateshead College delivers a wide range of training for Nissan at the ACE which has been recognised as a leader in automotive vocational learning and was awarded the Learning and Skills Council’s Centre of Vocational Excellence status. Nissan has re-sited its technical training centre at the ACE and has also donated six cars, including a brand new Qashqai, for Gateshead College students to work with.

Mr Korabelnikov said: “The visit to Gateshead College has been extremely useful. The ACE is a magnificent building and the partnership with Nissan is something I am definitely interested in for our organisation. We will now take our research back to Russia and work on a partnership strategy with Nissan in St Petersburg.”

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