Brand new Apollo apprentice, Iona, receives her welcome pack from Apollo MD, Paul Clements.

Imagine this. You’re 16 years old and about to start an apprenticeship. It’s your first ever job, and you’re sitting in a room with lots of other people and your new employer. Scary.

How much better would you feel if that employer then presented you with a brand-new tablet computer and told you it has paid for your first 20 driving lessons? Wow.

This was the experience the latest cohort of apprentices had when they met with their new employer, Apollo Motor Group, and national training provider, Remit Group, earlier this month. They had all come to Remit’s Automotive Academy in Derby to learn more about their apprenticeship.

Apollo Motor Group is the 3rd largest independent accident repair group in the UK. It works with apprentices in Panel, Paint, Mechanical, Electrical and Trim and Parts specialisms.

Apprentices training with Apollo and Remit will spend four separate weeks of the year at Remit’s Automotive Academy. The event was set up to teach the apprentices and their parents a bit more about Apollo and Remit, show them where they would be spending their block release training weeks, and where they would be staying.

All apprentices and their families were welcomed into the Academy and given a presentation by Paul Clements and Jim Swann of Apollo, and Mick Pilling of Remit. During the presentation the team spoke about the apprenticeship itself, what it entails and how much work is needed to succeed. They also spoke about the facilities at the Academy and Apollo itself as a company.

At the end of that presentation, Paul Clements, Apollo’s Managing Director, invited each apprentice to come up to the front to receive their tablet and tokens for driving lessons; a welcome gift from Apollo.

Paul said: “We’re very proud of the Apollo Academy and our work with Remit Group to bring a significant number of apprentices into the trade each year. Through our Academy we start to try and engage young people when they’re in years nine, ten and eleven at school. This gives us the chance as an employer to identify those young people with a passion for the motor industry and give them the opportunity to see what a career in body repair may hold.

“We’ve had so much success with our existing apprentices, with two of our young men currently up for national awards. Rowen Small is a finalist at the highly prestigious World Skills UK competition, and his colleague, James Barnard was named Mechanical Electrical and Trim Apprentice of the Year at the Bodyshop Live Awards. We’re so proud of the both of them and subsequently brought them along to our event to speak to our new cohort and offer some inspiration.

“We feel that Investing in our apprentices is so important to make sure we secure high calibre candidates. Talented school and college leavers have so many career options available to them, it’s important we have something special to offer. We look forward to our new apprentices getting underway and starting their apprenticeship journey. Many thanks to Remit Group for hosting our event and we look forward to another fantastic year!”

Mick Pilling, Automotive Development Director for Remit Group, said: “The tablet and driving lessons that Apollo presented was a brilliant surprise. What a fantastic thing to offer. We had a couple of current apprentices with us on the day who are at the end of their three years. They were really impressed to see what was being offered, and in their speeches later on, they both made reference to the gifts, telling each young person how lucky they are to have such a great employer.

“Our partnership with Apollo is fantastic. We work very well collaboratively to make sure we provide our apprentices with the best experience, quality training and a supportive environment. Our Apollo Open Day was a huge success and we can’t wait to see how well everyone does once they get started.”

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