Lookers has marked the start of National Apprenticeship week with the launch of a drive to recruit 208 new apprentices for its nationwide network of car dealerships.
Lookers said that its largest-ever annual intake of apprentices will offer the next-generation of automotive talent an opportunity to work with product from Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Audi and BMW and the potential of a “rewarding long-term career”.
The AM100 retail group’s initiative is targeting new recruits in vehicle maintenance, servicing and in parts advice and comes at a time when the sector is working hard to plug a ‘skills gap’.
The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) recently warned there will be a shortfall of almost 36,000 EV-trained technicians by 2030 if retraining isn’t addressed urgently.
Launching Lookers’ bid to attract new talent in a week that has already seen Drive Motor Retail spell out its new apprenticeship rewards scheme, newly-appointed group apprenticeship and early careers programme manager, Suzanne Sherry, said: “The motoring industry is in the throes of an exciting digital and electrical transformation that will change the way we live and drive forever and its future success will need a new breed of technical experts who are equipped with the right skills and talent to take it forward. We want even more young people to be part of the journey."
Sherry, who receltly joined Lookers from Arnold Clark, added “At Lookers, we’ve been investing in award-winning talent, skills and training for decades, sparking careers and opening opportunities in every area of our business. I’m delighted that for 2022, we’re embarking on our largest apprenticeship programme yet.
“This year, we’re focusing on challenging gender stereotypes within the industry to encourage even more female apprentices to join our growing ranks while nurturing all talent and enthusiasm when we see it.”
Since 2017, Lookers has steered the careers of almost 1,000 apprentices in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Among the incentives awaitying Lookers’ latest intake will be: continuous advice from dedicated mentors and access to Lookers’ health and wellbeing platform SMART Health which provides 24/7 advice including GP access, nutritional advice and mental health support.
Lookers’ chief operating officer, Duncan McPhee, said: “Focussed learning and first-class on-the-job training in a collaborative, warm and friendly environment is what makes our apprenticeship programme the best there is.
“Our apprentices are the lifeblood of our business and we’re delighted to bring on a new and diverse team of talent from every area of the UK at this exciting time.”