• The Kia Academy has been relocated to an all-new facility at St. Modwen Park, Derby
  • 40,000 sq. ft. bespoke fitted building includes the latest training technology, customised for Kia UK
  • Designed to accommodate 1,500 delegates every year, with scope to expand and grow with ten high tech training rooms
  • State-of-the-art and fully equipped workshop with numerous heavy load capacity ramps, future proofed for Kia vehicles
  • Showcases the Kia Global Store Concept

Kia UK Limited has opened a new cutting-edge training centre – the Kia Academy – in the vibrant and historic city of Derby, situated in the heart of England. The new facility initiates and will be home to the next generation of Kia apprenticeships and dealer training programmes.

Kia training academy in Derby
Kia training academy in Derby reception

The move to the new 40,000 sq. ft. building within St. Modwen Park (a new business park on the outskirts of the city) is part of Kia’s ambitious plan to provide quality and pioneering technical training to the next generation of automotive professionals. The site will equip students with key STEM skills and knowledge required to meet the rapidly evolving demands of the automotive industry. The building, customised exclusively for Kia UK, will facilitate advanced electrified training, upskilling apprentices and adult learners, and empower technicians to become leaders in electrification.

Paul Philpott, President and CEO of Kia UK Limited, said: “We are thrilled to bring our new and enhanced Kia Academy to Derby. This move represents our commitment to supporting STEM education, driving electrification and helping our dealer partners build the workforce and skills they need for the future. Our investment in the new training Academy showcases our unwavering commitment to excellence, innovation and sustainability, while solidifying Kia’s position as a leader in electrification and the automotive industry.”

The Kia Academy will adopt a blended approach by integrating the latest digital tools and hands-on experience to provide a comprehensive learning environment. The Academy’s collaboration with Skillnet aims to train around 250-300 apprentices per year, nurturing their expertise in the latest automotive technologies and customer service techniques. As well as the home for the new Kia Apprenticeship programme, the Derby site will serve as the hub for adult technical training for the entire UK Kia network, bringing the delegate number to around 1,500 per annum.

Following a lengthy selection process, Skillnet was specifically chosen by Kia UK due to its well-structured pedagogical curriculum, which is modern, fresh and relevant for today’s apprentices and tomorrow’s technicians. Together with Skillnet, Kia is confident that delegates of the all-new Kia Academy will be best equipped for their future in automotive, with qualifications that go above and beyond regular apprenticeships.

Eugene Lowry, Managing Director of Skillnet, commented: “Skillnet is absolutely delighted to have been chosen to manage and deliver the Kia UK Apprenticeship Programme at the all-new Kia Academy. Kia is well known as a progressive automotive manufacturer with a reputation for quality, style, and innovation. These qualities have been used to design bespoke apprenticeships that develop the skills and knowledge needed for the workforce of the future. The inclusion of value-added qualifications such as level 3 Electric Vehicle, hydrogen technologies and first aid at work ensures that not only are we developing future proof Kia technicians, we are developing technicians that meet the needs of both the current day and future industry.

Our delivery of these programmes not only supports Kia UK’s electrification commitment but also the government’s zero emission 2035 path.

“Innovative and exciting apprenticeship programmes will deliver modern, cutting-edge education using a well-structured blended pedagogy matched with a constant desire for ongoing improvement in developing knowledge and skills that support Kia in its electrification commitment.”

Kia training academy in Derby location parking

Derby was chosen as an ideal location for the Academy for its excellent transport links, proximity to the East Midlands airport, and easy access to the M1 motorway. With around 190 dealers located across the UK each sending delegates to the site, St. Modwen Park is the perfect hub for convenient and accessible training for automotive professionals across the country.

Sarwjit Sambhi, Group CEO of St. Modwen, commented: “We are incredibly proud to welcome the Kia Academy to St. Modwen Park Derby. Our site offers a high-quality, sustainable environment that aligns perfectly with Kia's vision for eco-friendly operations. The adjacent wildlife reserve ensures a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of staff and delegates, making it an ideal setting for learning and growth.”

The new Academy is designed with a strong emphasis on sustainability, incorporating features such as electric charging points and bike racks to promote and encourage sustainable transportation for staff and delegates. Kia UK aims for the new Academy to be a sustainable facility that will assist with its commitment to achieving carbon neutrality throughout the company’s value chain by 2045, as first announced in November 2021.

Other partners working with Kia UK on the new Academy project include Paragon, Straight Set, 3PL Real Estate and Cobham Engineering Consultants, with each providing support and expertise across their respective fields.

PAROGON, the international design and deliver specialist, implemented the project works, ensuring that the Kia Academy’s bespoke state-of-the-art facility was delivered to the highest standards.

The new facility incorporates a Reception area and Showroom, showcasing Kia’s Global Store Concept and new corporate identity – as seen at the newest Kia dealerships. Ten classrooms equipped with the latest cutting-edge technology provide a modern and immersive learning experience. The workshop, designed by Straight Set, is equipped with the latest vehicle ramps, tooling equipment and resources to prepare apprentices and technicians for the challenges of tomorrow’s automotive landscape. The equipment has been specifically chosen to ensure the all-new Academy is ready for future Kia vehicles, including PBVs (Platform Beyond Vehicle).

Kia training academy in Derby EV9
Kia training academy in Derby Showroom

The Kia Academy employs a dedicated team of around 15-17 full-time staff, fostering a supportive learning environment and ensuring learners receive personalised training and guidance.

The facility opens significant opportunities for Kia’s growth, enabling the company to increase delegate numbers, support an expanding EV range and thus enhance service capacity. With a vision to be all-electric and embrace sustainable practices, the Academy utilises heat pumps for building heating in the future. Furthermore, rooftop solar panels harness renewable energy, reducing demand on the National Grid and contributing to a cleaner and greener future. The building was constructed to St. Modwen’s ‘Swan Standard’ of sustainable construction, is EPC A rated and has a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ accreditation.

Kia’s investment in the new training Academy showcases its unwavering commitment to excellence, innovation and sustainability, solidifying its position as a leader in electrification and the automotive industry.

The new location in Derby replaces the Kia Academy in Nottingham, which had been Kia’s training base since 2012.

If you want to find out more, get in touch now.

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