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Custom car designer lends his star power to opening of new training centre supported by 3M’s aftermarket division.

A new training centre has opened in the Sydney suburb of Blacktown to nurture aspiring collision repair staff.

The training centre has been established through a job pledge agreement between backer 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division (AAD) and the Australian Association of Progressive Repairs (AAPR). AAD anticipates the centre, costing $2 million, will train 300 students a year, initially, and foster 100 new jobs in the area. Skills taught will include panel beating, spray painting and detailing.

On hand for the opening was Chip Foose, known for his exuberant vehicle design and hosting of the TV series ‘Overhaulin’. Based in California, Foose has won awards for his custom cars and one of his designs provided the inspiration for the Plymouth Prowler. Foose worked under famed American hot rodder Boyd Coddington until he struck out on his own, forming the company Foose Design. He was the co-founder of Ridemakerz, a company producing customisable model cars for kids.

Foose’s early start in the industry – from the age of seven at his father’s business, Project Design – has given him an insight into how kids differ from earlier generations.

“Currently, children are constantly surrounded by technology, social media and gaming,” Foose said.

“A favourite pastime used to be working with your father on cars but now, youth are not developing as much of a natural interest in the industry. The 3M Automotive Training Centre will re-introduce this pastime as both a hobby and career path to the immediate area and across Sydney.”

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