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Ford honours its top apprentices

Ford has named its apprentices of the year during a ceremony at Henry Ford College.

Taking home the prizes were Glen Ringe from Gates of Stevenage for the sales executive category, Simon Martin from John Grose Lowestoft for body technician, Martin Macken from Heartlands Ford for parts consultant and Kirk Ross from AM Phillip, Scotland, for service technician.

The winners were chosen from some 300 final year apprentices.

Mike Willis, principal of Ford College, Daventry, said: “All the categories were decided prior to today, except for service technician.

“We had the 10 top achievers in the country here and tested their mechanical, electrical and transferable skills. This includes them working behind a reception desk where the technician needs to show how they can handle customers.”

Ford’s idea behind testing broader skills is to overcome a big weakness that many dealers have – the barrier between customers and technicians. It is also hoped that the event will highlight the automotive industry’s career potential to younger people.

“We have the right communication materials to bring these messages across,” said John Cooper, Ford customer service director. “But the right people aren’t seeing them. We need to make it all more internet based.”

The event was also attended by Roelant de Waard, chairman and managing director of Ford Britain. He told AM: “We are talking to the elite here, this is the tip of the tip of the iceberg. In the future I would like to welcome more people to show them what the opportunities are.”

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