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VDA Apprentice Success April / May 2023

Gemini Accident Repair Group are delighted to announce further success in the apprenticeship department, having six Vehicle Damage Assessor (VDA) apprentices pass their IMI VDA full accreditation recently! The six VDA apprentices are now nearing the end of their journey to complete their Apprenticeship to become Vehicle Damage Assessors. Congratulations must be extended to Gemma Bright (Gemini Redditch), Daniel Ward (Gemini Nottingham), Jacob Ray (Gemini Pensnett), Luke Sargeant (Gemini Worcester), Lewis Walker (Gemini Telford), and Ashley Ablett (Gemini Leeds).

On their journey, the apprentices have maintained Audatex certification, achieved IMI Customer Practitioner Award and GQA Level 3 ADAS Awareness.

Gemini took the VDA Standard apprenticeship and have extended this sufficiently to embrace the expectations of creating a “Multiskills Front of House” offering. Essentially, creating a bespoke platinum delivery with the aim to form a formidable team to serve Gemini Accident Repair customers, and future proof the business.

Gemma Bright, of Gemini ARC Redditch commented; “I am delighted to be able to look back on my journey, knowing all my achievements have reached a point of qualification.  I can now show how much I have learnt, put this into practice and I am looking forward to completing my apprenticeship journey to become a respected VDA, seeing where my qualification now takes me and my future within Gemini ARC”.

The Gemini VDA Apprenticeship is a highly structured delivery that formalises engagement in all work areas that are important for the person to have awareness and experience.  The programme has the added advantage of assigned workplace supervisors and a dedicated Training member of staff, who oversees all VDA Apprentices assessing all deliverables planned work targets, education, and testing.

Adam Jones, Technical Training and Development Co-ordinator commented “It is a brilliant achievement for the first six VDA Gemini apprentices to have achieved their IMI VDA full accreditation and seeing them all progress over the apprenticeship has been a pleasure to  apart of their journey.”

During the first year of a VDA apprenticeship, apprentices experience a fragment of estimating training, as the focus is on degrees of practical competence and awareness across all workshop work areas. Thereafter, engagement is across all aspects of customer facing activities whether it be how to deal with policy holders, insurance partners, suppliers, work colleagues, and management within the business. Delivery timetabling includes formal Introduction to Audatex and subsequent annual Audatex testing, ADAS Level 3, along with Electric & Hybrid qualifications. Our Training Provider partner Emtec Colleges also deliver the Customer Practitioner Award through remote learning but with End Point Assessments taking place in the individual work location as part of the apprenticeship.

The VDA accreditation is undertaken in a partnership arrangement with Bridge Academy, providing Gemini with a testing facility. Whilst the Accreditation assessment process is completed by Gemini’s in house IMI qualified VDA Assessor, Adam Jones. Naturally to ensure there is no conflict of interest, the IMI go to great lengths to ensure whatever the assessed outcomes are, meet their stringent scrutiny and verification.

Looking to the future, Gemini ARC have begun the development of VDA CPD to compliment any first time National Accreditations individuals achieve.

Currently Gemini ARC have 20 additional VDA Apprentices at different stages of their programme, plus a further 16 following pathway journeys into estimating.  The Pathways are encouraging Gemini ARC delegates to broad their career opportunities, development, and no doubt their income!

Our training partners that have been essential in providing this bespoke VDA Gemini Apprenticeship package comments as follows:


“It is great to see a thriving training partnership between Gemini and Bridge Automotive Academy, we have set the highest of standards in the automotive industry when it comes to training and

IMI assessments with a state-of-the-art training facility, all the latest tools, equipment, and vehicles for VDA training and assessment. It is a great achievement to see a group of Gemini Apprentices pass there IMI VDA full route accreditation; this is such a complex and challenge course and such an outstanding accomplishment to achieve.

A huge congratulations to Gemini on their outstanding in-house training programme and then partnering with Bridge Automotive Academy to gain IMI VDA accreditations along with the recognition showing the standard of Gemini’s workforce In the Automotive industry.”

Andrew Southan: Training Centre Manager: Bridge Automotive Academy


The team at EMTEC are thrilled to be part of such an innovative partnership to deliver high-quality training to support Gemini’s VDA apprentices. Whilst this is a challenging course the standards of professionalism and appetite for learning the apprentices exhibited, gives us every confidence that they will be both an asset to Gemini but also for the sector more broadly. In delivering the customer practitioner component of this wider programme, we have equipped Gemini’s apprentices with the full breadth of technical and customer service skills to thrive in their role and maintain the high-quality service that Gemini customers have come to expect. Working in partnership with Gemini is incredibly rewarding for EMTEC, as it allows us to tailor our training programs to meet the unique needs of the businesses and industries we serve. This collaborative approach not only benefits the apprentices by equipping them with the skills they need for success, but it also fosters a stronger, more vibrant workforce that can drive innovation and growth in the sector.

Lindsey Smith

Head of Apprenticeships: Nottingham College



At a time where employers are looking to attract, develop and retain their workforce, it’s fantastic to see the way Gemini have approached this challenge.

Utilising industry leading standards and working with partners from across the sector to deliver best practice in workforce development, whilst also fulfilling a real business need, shows innovation and determination.

Getting these programmes implemented makes their workforce so much stronger and motivated.

We are so pleased to have been able to support this journey and look forward to seeing more talent being developed in the sector.

Mark Armitage PGCert FIMI

Head of Membership Products & Services: Institute of Motor Industry


Here are a few more quotes from the VDA Apprentice achievers:

Lewis Walker (Telford)

“It has been an amazing journey filled with knowledge and experience, and now being a qualified Vehicle Damage Assessor, I can only thank those around me that have helped me towards achieving this professional qualification. I would recommend Gemini ARC Apprenticeships to all as it’s a great place to be!”


Ashley Ablett (Leeds)

“My Apprenticeship has been a very interesting and rewarding experience.  The high point for me was passing my VDA Accreditation after all the hard work over the last 4 years at Gemini from where I started. I’m now looking ahead to completing the final parts of my apprenticeship and looking to where this takes me with Gemini in the future.”


Jacob Ray (Pensnett)

“With my apprenticeship reaching its end, I can look back with pride at what I’ve accomplished and all I’ve learnt. I look forward to completing this journey to becoming a fully-fledged VDA and seeing what the future holds.”


Luke Sargeant (Worcester)

“My apprenticeship has been amazing. I started with an original interest around cars that has been transformed into a depth of knowledge and understanding around how cars are repaired correctly and safely. I have had a great team of mentors around me that have enabled me to gain my accreditation as a fully qualified VDA. I love every day and now have a lifelong career ahead of me from my apprenticeship.”


Daniel Ward (Nottingham)

“I already had industry knowledge and skills before starting my Apprenticeship within the workshop. However, I have learned so much more now that my Apprenticeship is complete through an amazing journey of well-planned out onsite and virtual training, guidance, and support. The apprenticeship has been well structured, well executed and very well delivered and I would highly recommend the VDA Apprenticeship to anyone”.   


John Henderson:4th May 2023

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