Apprenticeship Central Ltd are the vehicle repair industry apprentice recruitment and retention specialist for employers who need an outsourced solution to fulfil their recruitment and retention activities at an operational level. Delivery is through three main services, RECRUIT, NURTURE and ENSURE and employ a team of specialists who support vehicle repairers – from single site operations through to MSO’s – with their apprentice needs.
Commenting on the company’s current apprentice recruitment activities, Jake Watson, who leads the company’s RECRUIT programme, explains: “This year has seen a significant rise in our clients wanting to recruit young people across a whole range of apprenticeships. By far the most popular vacancies are for the known single-skill and multi-skill technical programmes but we are seeing increased interest in the VDA programme and we are also attracting candidates for parts and customer service apprenticeship/trainee roles too”.
Apprenticeship Central’s current RECRUIT clients total nearly 30 different businesses over 65 sites, comprising of groups and smaller repairers. For current technical vacancies, these statistics make interesting reading:
– 15% Paint Technician Apprentice
– 25% Panel Technician Apprentice
– 5% MET Technician Apprentice
– 55% Automotive Repair Technician (multi-skill) Apprentice
As a further insight into candidate profiles, out of the current 200+ candidates being processed, there is 85%/15% split males versus females. In terms of age profiles, this current candidate group comprises of:
– 13% are 16 years old
– 15% are 17 years old
– 13% are 18 years old
– 13% are 19 years old
– 12% are 20 years old
– 33% are 21+ years old
Jake added “The key benefit of our RECRUIT programme is to give every candidate a personal experience, primarily though our online Pre Employment Programme (PEP). Because we are communicating with young people and because we are using a unique digital platform, we are creating a much bigger candidate pool than traditional methods and our candidates are fully engaged with the process”.
The PEP process includes continual contact with all candidates, taking them through a series of research tasks, video assessments, written submissions and ultimately, a knowledge exam. This gives candidates a full view of what it might be like to work in the industry and importantly, gives them a chance to exit the process if they realise it’s not right for them. What’s left are perfect candidates who are fully engaged, are familiar with the industry and have an overview of what’s involved in repairing a vehicle and are extremely motivated to be selected by an employer.
“These figures are constantly changing because our candidates become employed apprentices and we constantly receive new instructions from the industry. It’s absolutely clear though that there is a high level of interest from young people and as the statistics show, they are not all school leavers”, said Bob Linwood, the company’s founder. “It just goes to prove that the vehicle repair industry is a viable career path when many employers have traditionally believed it’s difficult to attract young people to the sector”.