Post 16 choices used to be limited to:

  • Are you clever enough to take ‘A’ levels and go to Uni

  • Or do you enter the workplace at 16.

Times have changed, with education, in some form, now compulsory until 18 and modern apprenticeships offering many and varied ways of learning skills to last a lifetime. Local employer Swansway Motor Group has long embraced apprenticeships, with over sixty apprentices across the group, in accounts, parts, customer service and sales, as well as the more well-known Technician apprenticeships.

Swansway Motor Group director, John Smyth explained, “As a family owned business, we’ve always been keen on having young people in the business”.

“We have people across our group who joined us on apprenticeships at 16 and who’ve gone on to build careers within the business. What people may be surprised to know is that these are not just Technicians, the traditional role associated with motor trade apprenticeships; these roles are across all departments and prove just what a great start to a career an apprenticeship can be”, added John.

Honor Hailwood, now 23, started with Swansway straight from school as a Customer Service apprentice and has undertaken a roles across three of Swansway’s Crewe sites.

Honor explained, “I began my apprenticeship at the group’s Head Office as Receptionist and then moved on to work in the Group Fleet Department”.

“From there I moved to Crewe Volkswagen as an Assistant Sales Administrator and now I’m the Sales Administrator at Swansway’s new Jaguar centre. I’ve enjoyed learning different disciplines at the different centres and I’m so glad I did an apprenticeship and found a career and a business that I really love”, added Honor.

Also joining from school as a Customer Service apprentice at Crewe Audi was Josh Bloor, now 24, currently an award-winning Sales Executive, Josh too has worked in a number of different areas of the business.

Josh explained, “I started in Sales Administration, then moved to Accounts, then progress tracking, before working on the showroom floor and then becoming a trainee Sales Executive.”

“I think that understanding how the business works, has helped make me a better Salesperson and the icing on the cake was winning a Motor Trader Rising Star Award, something I’d never have dreamt of when I started straight from school.”

“I wanted to start earning and an apprenticeship was a great way for me to carry on learning, whilst earning a wage. It definitely worked for me and I’d recommend it to anyone, thinking about their options post 16”, added Josh.

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