From education to employment

Cardiff and Vale College Junior Apprentices get their careers in gear with a visit to Aston Martin’s HQ

the CAVC Auto Junior Apprentices at Aston Martin’s Gaydon HQ

Fourteen to sixteen-year-olds on a pioneering course to provide vocational career routes to young people have had their career aspirations raised with a visit to Aston Martin’s midlands headquarters.

The twenty-two Cardiff and Vale College Auto Junior Apprentices travelled up to the luxury sports car manufacturers Gaydon HQ in Warwickshire. The apprentices had a tour of the facility and met with numerous members of staff who explained the various job roles and apprenticeships that will be available when Aston Martin opens its second manufacturing facility in St Athan in 2018.

The visit was designed to raise the aspirations of the Auto Junior Apprentices who are on CAVC’s unique vocational career route for Year 10 and 11 pupils, operated in partnership with the Welsh Government, Cardiff Council and Cardiff schools.

Karen Botting, Aston Martin’s Senior Manager of Learning and Development, said: “As part of our CSR strategy we hosted the Junior Apprentices from CAVC to increase their aspirations for the future, and explain the type of job roles, skills and attitude required for a luxury brand. A successful day if we were able to influence their views and attitude to learning for a better future.”

One of the visitors was Year 11 Auto Junior Apprentice, 15-year-old Richard Pocock from Cardiff said: “I thought it was really educational because as soon as you stepped into the factory you could see all the different stages of an Aston Martin being put together. Personally, I think it was a really good opportunity to push forward the options that are available for people who aspire either to be there in Warwickshire or at St Athan.

“The people at Aston Martin were really helpful and educated us about the differences between the cars, engine sizes and capabilities and things like that. We got a lot of advice about things that most people wouldn’t be able to notice – two cars might look similar but there are small distinctive features between them that make them different.

“All in all I think it was a really good experience – we got go somewhere that the College gives opportunities to have an apprenticeship with and see what it involves. Now I have seen the facilities and got an idea of what it could be like to be an apprentice either there or at St Athan I would consider myself applying for an apprenticeship with Aston Martin.

“We all know they have been making good quality cars for a very long time and they have always been widely popular so it was a really good opportunity to see what it would be like to be an apprentice with Aston Martin.”

CAVC Vice Principal Sharon James said: “It was a fantastic experience for our Junior Apprentices to be given a tour of Aston Martin’s headquarters – not everyone gets the chance to see James Bond’s car being built! It was also extremely encouraging that Aston Martin echoed our message that with commitment and dedication you can find your ideal career.

“Cardiff and Vale College and Aston Martin have a long-standing collaborative partnership, with their new facility opening in St Athan in 2018. Two of our former students are already training to become part of the first cohort of apprentices at the new site, and visits like this can only strengthen this partnership as we introduce the next generation of auto engineers to their potential employers.”

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