Volvo Car UK will aim to recruit 130 new apprentice technicians to maintain a flow of new workshop talent for its franchised car retail network.
Last year saw 110 apprentices join Volvo retailers across the UK and the brand has already recruited the first 30 of a new crop of apprentices this year, with a further 100 places due to go live in the coming months.
Service technicians, product specialists, accident repair technicians and business administrators are all being sought by the network.
The apprenticeship drive comes three years after Volvo targeted the recruitment of 300 new technicians for its dealer network by 2020 and councides with the UK's 13th National Apprenticeship week and the two-year anniversary of the National Franchised Dealers Association's (NFDA) Drive My Career initiative..
Joanne Toomey, Volvo Car UK’s leadership and career development executive, said: “Through last year’s apprenticeship scheme we enrolled and qualified more apprentices than ever before. We are extremely proud of the scheme, which helps ensure our workforce properly reflects the society it serves across our retail network.
“We are committed to providing equal opportunities for all, and the apprenticeship programme allows us to identify the best people to join our team, no matter what their prior experience.”
Tony Hudson, general manager at Lipscomb Cars’ Volvo dealership in Canterbury, said that his business had been impressed with the high-calibre of Volvo’s apprentice candidates.
Lipscom recruit Lauren Leppenwell had been training for a career in dance before she made the move into automotive through a Volvo apprenticeship.
Hudson said: “Lauren is a clear example of how the apprenticeship scheme attracts applicants who may otherwise not have entered the automotive industry, yet who bring significant benefits to our team and the customers they will serve throughout their career.”
Leppenwell said: “Despite my growing fascination with cars and engines, which began at a young age when I watched Formula 1 with my Nan, a career in engineering or the automotive industry was not encouraged by my teachers.
“When I realised that the dance and travel professions were not for me, I spent time researching automotive career options and was excited to discover the opportunities available with Volvo.
“I am delighted to have been accepted onto the Lipscomb Volvo programme and have learnt an incredible amount in my first three months.
“There is a lot to remember and it is hard work, but the feeling of satisfaction when I identify and repair faults on a car is more than worth it. I am very excited about my future career with Volvo.”
Next week will be the UK’s 13th annual National Apprenticeship Week (February 3 to 7).
It comes as the National Franchised Dealers’ Association (NFDA) celebrated two years of its Drive My Career initiative to attract young talent into careers in the automotive sector.
The initiative uses targeted digital marketing campaigns to connect an audience of 16 to 24-year-old potential candidates with dealers in their local area, making young people aware of the variety of roles available in the industry and the rewarding sides of a career in automotive.
In 2019, Drive My Career reached 2.5 million young people through social media.
NFDA director, Sue Robinson, said: “Drive My Career was created as an industry-first initiative to complement retailers’ recruitment strategies and support them in highlighting the exciting elements of a career in the automotive sector.
“It is encouraging and rewarding to see the huge numbers of young people that hear about a career in the automotive retail industry thanks to Drive My Career on a regular basis.
“Thanks to the terrific support and regular feedback of our members, we will continue to promote the automotive retail sector as a great place to work and showcase our members as employers of choice.”
For further information on Volvo UK Car apprenticeships visit https://www.volvocars.com/uk/about/our-company/volvo-careers/apprenticeships