The first group of young technicians to complete Groupe Renault’s Advanced Apprenticeship Programme have graduated from the scheme, which was set up in 2015.
A total of 18 youngsters were presented with their qualifications at a special ceremony at Groupe Renault’s state-of the-art training facility in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, where they also enjoyed a speech from former automotive apprentice turned public speaker, Cat Traenor.
Emma Holmes, Academy Manager, Groupe Renault UK, said: “What these young people have achieved is terrific. Automotive apprenticeships are very different today from what they used to be and being a dealership service technician is an extremely skilled and specialised job. By joining the scheme and showing a willingness to learn and work hard, our graduating apprentices are setting themselves – and our dealers – up for a very bright future indeed.”
One of the apprentices collecting his graduation certificate at the event was 22-year old Brad Baker from Lookers Renault in Newcastle, Tyne and Wear.
“When I left school I really struggled to find work,” he said. “I kept getting knocked back for jobs in retail, which I wasn’t really interested in anyway, and I was thinking of joining the armed forces just so I could have a meaningful role. Then I found out about the apprentice scheme at Lookers and I went in for a chat.
“They liked my desire to work and gave me a chance,” he added. “It has changed my life. Not only do I now feel like I have a proper career to look forward to, but I also developed my interpersonal and social skills. I’m a much more confident person and am happy dealing with colleagues and customers – I can’t wait to progress to a senior tech role, and then train to be a service manager.”
20-year old Shaun Strowger from Mitchells Garage of Lowestoft, Suffolk, echoed his views. “I started off doing work experience at my local Renault dealer in Year 10,” he said. “When I heard about the apprentice scheme I went back and begged them to take me on. Four years later and here I am, a qualified technician. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and have matured as a person, learned new social skills and really developed my knowledge. So many people my age have no idea what they want to do with their lives, but I’m already on the way to a proper career.”
The training and development provided through the Groupe Renault UK Advanced Apprentice Programme is second-to-none, comprising state-of-the-art facilities and equipment backed up by highly experienced technical training staff. During the programme, the apprentices take part in a number of residential block release modules at the Training Centre in Doncaster, where not only do they get to learn more about the brand, but also meet their peers from other dealerships.
At the end of the course, the apprentices are awarded Groupe Renault’s Advanced Apprenticeship certificate, which is recognised by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), and become qualified technicians, with an option to further their training to become Senior Technicians and ultimately Master Technicians.
To find out more about the scheme, visit: https://life.renault.co.uk/careers/dealer-apprenticeship-programmes/.