A national academy has been opened to provide management training for the bodyshop industry.

The initiative is the brainchild of vehicle repair and motor claims specialist Norton Consulting.

The academy is offering courses on more than 50 different topics and includes NVQ training. Opened at the start of April, it plans to sign up 100 member companies in its first year.

Norton managing director Eddie Longworth said that most bodyshop managers came from the shop floor and learned the job as they went along, so they had limited business experience. The academy would help remedy this.