JCT600 is set to give another 40 apprentices the chance to “earn while you learn” as it adds to the 100 already in the business on a new rolling recruitment basis.
The Bradford-based AM100 retail group’s 2020 apprenticeship programme has now been launched and assessment days will be held throughout the year to give young people and their parents insight into JCT600 as the business adapted its recruitment strategy to allow intake throughout the year.
A variety of roles are being offered to applicants, with two and three year apprenticeships resulting in NVQ Level 2 and 3 qualifications alongside IMI Technical Certificates.
JCT600 HR director, Katie Saunders, said: “Over the last six years, our apprenticeships have become increasingly popular and we’ve been able to attract large numbers of bright, enthusiastic young people into the automotive sector.”
Saunders said that over 90% of JCT600 apprentices stay with the business – one of the Sunday Times’ ‘best companies to work for’ – following completion of their apprenticeship courses.
She added: “We’re also seeing some of our automotive brands adopting a more flexible recruitment strategy with a 'rolling intake' which means that we are able to take on apprentices at different times throughout the year rather than having the main intake date of September.
“This adaptable policy is really benefitting candidates, giving them more flexibility about when they join us and enabling us to ensure we have in place the resources and support they need.”
JCT600 revealed a record turnover of £1.28 billion and a slight uplift in operating profit before exceptional items – the figure rising from £23.1m in 2017 to £23.2m – in its financial year to December 31, 2018.
It employs 2,300 people and represents 24 of the world’s leading car brands at 52 dealerships throughout Yorkshire, the North East, the Humber, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.
In September last year JCT600 apprentice Connor Young, from the soon to be redeveloped Leeds Ferrari franchise, joined six apprentice supercar service technicians at the Silverstone round of the Ferrari Challenge UK race series for a special graduation ceremony.
Three other young people at Mercedes-Benz Sheffield who have taken advantage of JCT600’s apprenticeship scheme are George Moore from Rotherham, who is a first year apprentice parts adviser; Danyaal Mahmood, also from Rotherham, a first year apprentice technician; and Thomas Guest from Barnsley, who recently completed his three year technician apprenticeship.
Moore, aged 17, who started on the apprenticeship scheme last summer, said: “It’s great learning on the job rather than being stuck in a classroom and there is so much support, both from my trainer and from the guys here at the dealership.”
Seventeen year old Mahmood said: “I’ve always enjoyed fixing cars, so the opportunity to do an automotive apprenticeship really appealed to me and it was easy to apply for.
“Whenever I need help, my colleagues and mentors are on hand to show me what to do, it’s fantastic to be working with such an experienced team. I’m planning to stay with JCT600 and work my way up the ranks.”
Guest, aged 22, said: “During the last three years, I’ve gained knowledge, skills and friends. I’ve learnt life skills as well as embarking on a career I really enjoy, and I now have a job as a fully qualified technician with Mercedes-Benz and can carry on improving my skills with training courses in order to progress.
“Earning while you learn is a great way to go – I would highly recommend it to anyone wondering whether to go to college.
“If you pick a large, successful business like JCT600, there are lots of opportunities and you can have a great career.”