From education to employment

Apprenticeships are Way Forward for Family Business

While the cost of going to university continues to rise and the benefits of being a graduate in the job market diminish, #apprenticeships have become more and more attractive.

For family-owned Swansway Motor Group, apprenticeships have always been a very important part of their recruitment, development and retention policy, as director John Smyth explains, “The motor trade is one of those sectors which has always had apprentices, much like building, plumbing etcetera; the difference to day is that, firstly, the mechanics of old wouldn’t recognise the modern apprenticeships of today”.

Apprentice technicians work in state-of-the-art works shops and go away to manufacturer learning centres for their off the job training. All the facilities are absolutely gold standard and they are as far away from the old grease monkey stereotype as it’s possible to be”.

“Today’s vehicles are packed with technology and that means today’s technicians need a very wide variety of skills; secondly, we now have apprentices across our businesses, in many different roles and they bring an enthusiasm and diversity to our business which is really beneficial”, added John.

Swansway has almost 75 apprentices across its operations, from the more traditional Technician apprenticeships to the new Digital Marketing apprenticeships and the business has apprentices within every one of its departments; sales, aftersales, parts, customer service, administration, accounts and marketing.

Head of Recruitment and apprenticeships, Scott Smith commented, “As a family-owned business we’re very keen on growing our own talent and promoting from within; in our recruitment process we’re looking for a positive attitude and enthusiasm. These are qualities which fit with our Swansway values of caring, honest and proud and are personality traits which makes out apprentices the stars of the future”.

“We look after our apprentices too, we have Carley Farrington, who spends all her time visiting our apprentices across the group and ensuring that they’re happy, learning what they should be and feeling part of the team they’re in. It’s important to us to make our apprentices feel valued and part of our Swansway family team. That’s why we’ve sent them all a surprise present to celebrate National Apprenticeships week and to thank them for all their hard work”, added Scott.

Across the group there are many team members who began their careers as apprentices, Josh Bloor, a highly successful Sales Executive who started straight from school as a customer service apprentice; Honor Hailwood, who did the same and is now a Service Advisor at Swansway Jaguar; Sam booth, who began as an apprentice Technician and is now an award-winning Aftersales Manager at Stafford Land Rover and there are many more.

Swansway director, David Smyth commented, “For me personally seeing people grow and develop is the best part of my job, and apprenticeships are a fantastic way to combine on-going education with real experience learning on the job while you earn”.

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