Often described as the “Oscars of the transport industry”, the Motor Transport Awards are regarded as the benchmark for excellence in UK road transport. With over 50 apprentices across ten locations, the award was in recognition of Ford and Slater’s commitment and approach to developing apprentices within the organisation. Other finalists in the category were Palletforce, Ryder and Royal Mail.
A long-time supporter of apprentices
Named DAF Trucks’ Technical Training Dealer of the Year 2018, Ford and Slater has been a passionate supporter of the DAF Apprentice Programme since its inception in 1995. Since that time 1700 apprentices, from 133 DAF dealers, have completed the DAF Programme, with over 200 graduating through Ford and Slater.
It is an approach which has yielded impressive results for Ford and Slater over the years. Apprentices from the group have been recognised at the “DAF Apprentice of the Year” awards 20 times, 50 of their current workshop technicians began their career as an apprentice and 80% of Service Managers joined as apprentices.
The last 18 months – making changes
Building on this success, in the last 18 months the organisation has taken big steps to develop their apprenticeship programme further, most significantly through the appointment of a dedicated Group Apprentice Coordinator – Lee Sursham. The appointment of Lee has enabled the business to develop stronger relationships with local schools and colleges and provide a single point of contact for apprentices, ensuring consistency of support.
Lee has also taken a proactive approach to marketing the apprenticeship scheme, attending careers fairs, giving presentations in local schools, hosting open days at the Dealership locations and developing a new suite of printed and digital marketing material.
Quality and quantity
The results of the efforts made over the last 18 months has been an increase in both the quality and quantity of the apprentice intake with 100% pass rate in the last two years, 95% retention rate from the 2017 intake and four apprentices shortlisted as finalists at the 2017 DAF Apprentice of the Year Awards.
Motor Transport interview Michelle, Phillip and Tony about the award winning apprenticeship.