The third annual National Apprenticeship Week takes place this week and will celebrate the talents and skills of apprentices and recognises the role apprenticeships play in today’s dealership.
The week is organised by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) is encouraging dealers look at the apprenticeship as a means of investing in long term skills development.
The research carried out on behalf of the IMI by BMG showed that of the apprentices interviewed, 76% said it was a positive experience and in addition, knowing what they know now, three quarters of those surveyed would do an apprenticeship again.
Employers felt apprenticeships gave them better skilled staff, improved their business image and improved profitability. At least 84% think qualification apprentices achieved on the apprenticeship programme are very valuable to their business and that they were relevant to the automotive industry.
Brayley Honda is one of the dealerships flying the flag in support of young people forging careers in the motor industry.
Matt Fisher, parts supervisor at the dealer’s Grays, Essex site, is now managing the whole parts department, having completed his apprenticeship with the Honda Institute at the end of 2009. He is running a £500,000 business at the age of 22.
Paul Brayley, managing director, Brayley Honda, said: “Our business is very keen to develop staff, give them every opportunity to expand their skills and promote from within.
“Matt has shown a tremendous aptitude and confidence in the fast moving and complex world of parts management and we’re delighted at the progress he’s made throughout his apprenticeship and the maturity he’s shown in running the department.
“All Brayley Honda’s apprentices in the group are a credit to the Honda Institute and apprenticeships in general.”
Throughout the week a variety of national and regional activities will take place across all industry sectors with each day having a different focus.
Following the success of Apprenticeship Week 2009, activities this year will include employer events, job swaps, breakfast briefings and apprentice challenges. For example North Nottinghamshire College in Worksop is running and Apprenticeship Open Day on February 3 promoting a variety of apprenticeship routes to young people including those they offer in motor vehicle repair.
The National Apprenticeship Service has also recently announced that it will provide up to 5,000 apprenticeship grants for employers of 16 and 17 year olds in England with a value of £2,500 to encourage employers to take on unemployed 16-17 year olds as apprentices.
To apply for this grant, employers are encouraged to complete the online enquiry form for the National Apprenticeship Service: www.apprenticeships.org.uk/Employers/AGE16and17.aspx.