Counter View: Apprenticeships in the Aftermarket

Counter View: Apprenticeships in the Aftermarket

PMF’s contributors explain how apprenticeships benefit the employee, the employer and, perhaps most importantly, the industry as a whole.

David Clarke
Managing Director, Autosupplies (Chesterfield)

“Apprenticeships are a great way to bring young people into the trade at the very start of their
career. This way, they are much more likely to remain within the industry and initiate a desire to progress throughout the business.

Sadly, it has always been the case that if an apprentice enters the independent aftermarket they are much more likely to do so via an independent garage with the ambition to become a technician.

However, it is important that motor factors get on board and spread the word as we can offer excellent career opportunities in a diverse range of areas.

Speaking from a personal point of view, Autosupplies regularly employs apprentices who then go on to rise through the ranks and become highly respected members of the business.

We put our apprentices on clear career paths so they are fully aware of their goals and the required steps to achieve them. It provides the younger generation with a guaranteed way to achieve success as long as they put in the work and effort.

The route enables us to not only focus on the future of the employee, but also safeguard our own business. Although our apprentices have a course laid out for them, we still make sure that they experience all aspects of the business – from sales to picking parts to delivery – giving them a balanced education to prepare them for their future development.

The advantages of an apprenticeship are clear to see from both the employer and employee’s perspective. Most importantly, an employer is futureproofing the business while a young individual is offered the chance to get to know the entire company and industry from an early age in a fun and diverse way.”

Peter Welch
Proprietor, Scotlands Ash Garage

“A pprenticeships area key hiring routefor us as they allow us to develop a young individual at the very brink of their career and we have found the pathway has always been very productive.

It is important to give the next generation a chance as they represent the future of the independent aftermarket and if we catch them at the right age, we can demonstrate the necessary skills to find success and generate the motivation to remain invested in the business.

At a time when more young people than ever are choosing to go to university, apprenticeships offer an alternative route, and one that we, as an industry, should celebrate.

Unfortunately, not enough students leaving school are opting to embark upon a career in the motor trade and we need to work together to ensure this drastically changes.

Apprenticeships offer the opportunity to learn on the job, gaining hands-on experience, while also learning in a classroom environment, ensuring the student has access to a well-rounded form of development.

It goes without saying that they also offer protection for the industry’s future with apprentices working their way up the ladder to become an invaluable member of the team.

If other garages take on our approach we’re confident that we will begin to experience more interest from the younger generation as they will be able to see the benefits of apprenticeships for themselves.”

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