The future looks bright for Mercedes-Benz Retail Group’s West Bromley operation after two of its apprentices were named as Britain’s best by the vehicle manufacturer.
The manufacturer-owned site at Bell Green Retail Park saw Ben Wood chosen as Mercedes-Benz Technician Apprentice of the Year, whilst colleague Lewis Bainbridge received the accolade for Parts Operations Specialist at an annual awards ceremony.
Along with two other finalists in each category, the duo was shortlisted from 550 students currently undertaking the award-winning Mercedes-Benz Apprentice Programme.
The other six Mercedes-Benz Passenger Car Apprentice of the Year finalists were:
Charlie Mason, Mercedes-Benz of North Wales
Ewan Knowles, Mercedes-Benz of Edinburgh
Parts Operations Specialist
Natalie Green, Mercedes-Benz of Oxford
Georgia Parslow, Mercedes-Benz Epsom
Mason and Knowles’ wins were announced at the Mercedes-Benz World experiential brand centre in Brooklands, Surrey, where the finalists and their guests enjoyed exhilarating Mercedes-AMG and 4x4 Driving Experiences.
They can now look forward to a further taste of high-octane motoring as part of their prize as they have been invited to undertake work experience with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1® team in the week leading up to the British Grand Prix in July.
Andrew Mallery, training operations director, Mercedes-Benz, said that the winning pair were worthy winners having excelled across a wide range of criteria including the results achieved in online tests and practical assignments as well as their positive attitude to their work and learning.
Mallery said: “Ben has proved to be very mature for just 16-years-old and his can-do attitude and positivity towards even the most challenging of tasks have impressed his manager, trainer and assessor.
“He really has worked to an incredibly high standard and earned the respect of colleagues for his unstinting commitment and drive.
He added: “Lewis has also completed his work on time and to an exceptional standard.
“When it comes to service, Lewis has received numerous commendations from customers for his willingness to go the extra mile to assist them and he certainly displays a hard-working mentality by always volunteering to cover shifts or work extra hours to help his team if required.”
Mallery said that the Mercedes-Benz Apprentice Programme continued to go “from strength-to-strength” – with a 91% completion rate – and was expecting another record number of applications this year.
He added: “As highlighted by Ben, Lewis and the other finalists, the calibre of students coming through the Programme is second-to-none and means that our customers both now and in the future can look forward to receiving the very highest standards of technical expertise, product knowledge and service.”
Wood has set his sights on becoming a Diagnostic Technician.
He said: “I don’t believe that I could find a better retailer to work at, improve my skills and develop my career. I really feel I’m flourishing and winning the award has made me even happier although it still hasn’t sunk in.”
July can’t come soon enough for second year apprentice and motorsport fan Bainbridge, who has his 20th birthday and Mercedes-AMG Petronas work experience to look forward to in the space of an exciting fortnight.
“We’re always talking about F1® at work so the chance to go behind-the-scenes with the reigning World Constructors Champions is a money-can’t-buy experience that will stay with me forever and I genuinely haven’t stopped smiling since my name was read out at the awards ceremony,” he said.