Larklands Seeing Benefits of ApprenticeshipsAugust 4, 2016
Larklands Paint and Body Centre operates a state of the art automotive repair facility in Ilkeston and works with private and commercial clients across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.
Rob Severn is Bodyshop Manager at Larklands, where he has worked now for over 20 years. Apprentices have always been important to the business and as the industry focuses more and more on training and skills development, Rob believes that establishing learning at the beginning of a career in the automotive industry is key.
Rob explains: “We’ve working with Remit Training to recruit and train our apprentices for as long as I can remember, in fact it was my route into the business around 20 years ago.
“As a company we really believe in apprenticeships, the majority of our workforce started their career as an apprentice so it’s something we all understand and value.
“Trainees come to us straight from school and sometimes I think it can be a shock to 16 years old that this is the world of work and not school any more, it’s a huge transition to make in terms of what’s expected of them.
“For me that’s one of the key areas where an apprenticeship really comes into its own. The team at Remit Training sets a standard for our learners. They instil a set of behaviour and attitudes that really complement what we are teaching people in the workshop. Little things like the fact that they are expected to turn up to college wearing a shirt and tie really let the trainees know that they need to up their game.
“Our team is really highly skilled and as a result they don’t want to carry anyone who’s not up to scratch and I think it’s good that we let them know we expect great things from them. We set the benchmark high but we know from experience that with enough support and training, apprentices can go on to thrive in our business.
“You might say we throw our apprentices in at the deep end. I guess that’s true to a certain extent but I don’t see the point of trainees coming into the business to just sweep floors and make tea.
“Most of our work is with main manufacturers in the region such Jaguar and Land Rover. We work with prestige brands and their expectation is that we operate to the same standards as they do, almost like an extension of their business. So we think and operate like a main dealer, from the front of house reception and customer service through to the bodyshop and our levels of training, this is the only way we will move our business forward.
“As new methods and technologies are developed the need to keep on top of training and skills development is increasingly important, not just for apprentices but for our skilled technicians as well. An apprenticeship means that people come into the business understanding the importance of learning and that’s it something that continues throughout their careers so it’s a good habit to form.”
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