Lookers is investing significantly in the development of young talent after more than doubling its technical apprenticeship intake for 2017.
The national motor retailer has supported the apprenticeship scheme for a number of years but is now strengthening its commitment after increasing its intake from 78 in 2016 to a final figure of 162 this year.
The retailer has welcomed 238 technical apprentices over the last three years and currently has over 550 on its books.
It’s an impressive total and one that highlights the importance the group places on building a skilled workforce fit for the future.
The group, which operates from 157 franchised motor retail outlets across the UK, has also tasked itself with encouraging more women into the motor industry and this year welcomed seven female technical apprentices onto its programme.
Lookers now employs nine female apprentices in total and is keen to increase this further with next year’s intake.
Rebecca Brown is one such apprentice that is already reaping the benefits of Lookers’ investment in apprentices.
The 18 year old, who is based at Lookers Vauxhall Selly Oak, Birmingham, said: “I’ve loved my first year as an apprentice at Lookers Vauxhall. Everybody has been so helpful and made me feel instantly part of the team. I think it’s great that there are more women wanting to get into the motor industry as it’s incredibly rewarding and has already given me a lot of confidence and encouragement to challenge myself in other areas of my life.”
So successful has the Lookers apprenticeship programme become that the group was recently acknowledged at the National Apprenticeship Awards 2017 by winning the North East regional final.
The group triumphed in The Open University sponsored Macro category and will soon find out if it will be put forward as a national finalist.
Lookers is now hoping to enhance its apprenticeship programme further after striking up a relationship with the Duke of Edinburgh Awards which will help it identify suitable candidates.
Matthew Clay, Group Qualifications Manager at Lookers, said: “2017 has been a huge year for the Lookers apprenticeship programme, not only due to our increased intake but also as a result of some of the improvements we’ve made to it. It’s critical to the business and the motor industry as a whole that we invest in the future of our skills base and support enthusiastic young technicians as they embark on their burgeoning careers.
Steve Maule, Head of Qualifications at Lookers, said: “We’re very pleased that the programme has caught the attention of aspiring female technicians and that they are able to feel confident in a training process that takes into account their specific needs. 2018 will be another big year for the programme and we look forward to welcoming a new intake of enthusiastic apprentices.”