Bentley Motors's successful Apprenticeship programme has been recognised at the National Apprentice Employer of the Year Awards for 2009. The Company, participating in the large business category, was highly commended for its commitment to developing its workforce through apprenticeships.
At a special ceremony held at Old Billingsgate in London, Julia Gill, Attraction and Development Manager for Trainees at Bentley Motors was presented with the commendation. Despite being the Company's first appearance at the finals after winning the North West Regional Finals in May, the Bentley scheme was recognised as being one of the very best in the Country and in the top 3 in its category. Over 100,000 companies nationwide now participate in the National Apprenticeship Scheme.
In recognising Bentley, the Learning and Skills Council commended the breadth of the Company's scheme; rather than just manufacturing, the Bentley apprenticeship scheme includes all areas of the business, such as logistics, engineering and sales and marketing. One of the most attractive aspects for the apprentices is the opportunity to spend a period of time living and working abroad within the Volkswagen Group, part of an exchange programme which sees Bentley host foreign apprentices wishing to gain some experience working in the luxury car sector at the Crewe plant.
Bentley Motors employs 51 apprentices who follow a three to four year training programme across a number of disciplines. The apprenticeship programme is run in conjunction with the training provider Total People Ltd. In addition, apprentices undertake day release to a local college to complete the necessary academic qualifications and develop the required underpinning knowledge. The Bentley scheme is renowned for producing high calibre apprentices. Chris Coates, a former Bentley apprentice was recently selected for the UK Team to compete in the World Skills competition which takes place in Canada later this year. Bentley Motors is currently in the process of finalising its apprentice in-take in September 2009, a sign of its continued commitment to the apprenticeship programme.
This latest award comes at a significant time for the Company. 2009 is the 90th anniversary of Bentley and the anniversary is being marked with the launch of an all-new grand Bentley in August. Designed, engineered and built in the company's historic Crewe plant, it is exciting projects such as this which enables Bentley to attract young talent and provide high-skill career paths for its apprentices.
Christine Gaskell, Member of the Board for Personnel and Apprenticeship Ambassador explained, "We are exceptionally proud of this award. Being recognised at not only a regional, but a national level, is a great testament to everyone involved in the scheme. Recruiting apprentices enables Bentley Motors to meet our skills needs in critical areas. It allows us to select the right person and develop them in a way that meets the needs of both the company and the apprentice."
The automotive industry is a great place to work and, as this award demonstrates, it is a sector which all ambitious young people should consider if they want a challenging but rewarding career."
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