21 - June - 2013
With the exam season drawing to a close this week, young people across the UK, and no doubt their parents and carers too, will be asking a simple question: what next? Options for school leavers can seem limited but one of the routes making something of a comeback in today’s climate is an apprenticeship. Offering a combination of on- and off-the-job training, apprenticeships give school leavers a chance to get out of the classroom and learn a new skill or trade, often while being paid and with good long-term career prospects. Volkswagen Group UK Ltd incorporates five successful brands, each of which offers apprenticeship opportunities through its retail networks. Across the UK, Volkswagen Passenger Cars and Commercial Vehicles, Audi, SEAT and ŠKODA outlets all have vacancies and are keen to hear from post-GCSE students with an ambition to work in the motor industry. A number of opportunities are available on the Group’s apprenticeship programme, from technicians through parts advisors to product and service advisors. Successful applicants will follow a national programme with training both in the brand outlet or dealership by which they are employed as well as at the Volkswagen Group’s National Learning Centre in Milton Keynes. The course itself lasts for 17 weeks, with the majority of apprentices going on to successful careers within the Group. In fact over 85 per cent of those that enter the Group through the Apprenticeship scheme are still employed five years later, with nationally-recognised qualifications being gained throughout training and beyond the apprenticeship. Network Learning and Development Manager for the Volkswagen Group, Richard Welch, comments: ‘We’re ready to offer school leavers with good predicted GCSE results fantastic opportunities to learn skills and gain qualifications. The motor industry needs talented, keen and motivated young people and we’d love them to work for our brands. ‘The Group’s networks allow people to find out what it’s really like working in a motor retail outlet or workshop. And it’s not all about cars: we teach technical skills, but apprentices will also learn the importance of customer focus, team work and problem solving. We’re really excited about seeing what the ‘class of 2013’ has to offer the Group and look forward to receiving their applications soon.’ He adds: ‘It’s a dynamic and evolving field to work in. Gone are the days of oily rags and dirty overalls. Our workshop staff receive training in electronics, the latest in in-car entertainment and the arrival of hybrid and electric cars takes our vehicles to a new technical plain. Those learning under the customer service umbrella will also acquire skills which can be applied in any retail environment. An apprenticeship with the Group is a gateway to a world of careers,’ he concludes.