With more than 100 apprentices already in the business, Yorkshire-based automotive retailer JCT600 is planning to recruit at least another 40 young people this year.
The Bradford-headquartered family business, which has run its own carefully tailored training scheme for young people since 2013, will this year welcome another 40 brand apprentices in a variety of roles including apprentice technicians, parts advisers and service advisers.
With a turnover of almost £1.3 billion and a 2,300-strong team, JCT600 represents 24 of the world’s leading car marques. Named as one of the Sunday Times’ “best companies to work for”, it offers apprenticeships at most of its 52 dealerships throughout Yorkshire, the North East, the Humber, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.
Three young people at Mercedes-Benz Sheffield who have taken advantage of JCT600’s apprenticeship scheme are George Moore from Rotherham, who is a first year apprentice parts adviser; Danyaal Mahmood, also from Rotherham, a first year apprentice technician; and Thomas Guest from Barnsley, who recently completed his three year technician apprenticeship.
George, 17, who started on the apprenticeship scheme last summer, said: “I joined JCT600 because I love cars. It’s great learning on the job rather than being stuck in a classroom and there is so much support, both from my trainer and from the guys here at the dealership.”
Seventeen year old Danyaal said: “I’ve always enjoyed fixing cars, so the opportunity to do an automotive apprenticeship really appealed to me and it was easy to apply for. Whenever I need help, my colleagues and mentors are on hand to show me what to do, it’s fantastic to be working with such an experienced team. I’m planning to stay with JCT600 and work my way up the ranks.”
Thomas, 22, said: “During the last three years, I’ve gained knowledge, skills and friends. I’ve learnt life skills as well as embarking on a career I really enjoy, and I now have a job as a fully qualified technician with Mercedes-Benz and can carry on improving my skills with training courses in order to progress.
“Earning while you learn is a great way to go – I would highly recommend it to anyone wondering whether to go to college. If you pick a large, successful business like JCT600, there are lots of opportunities and you can have a great career.”
The 2020 apprenticeship programme has now been launched and assessment days will be held throughout the year to give young people and their parents insight into JCT600, the variety of roles available and the way in which their training and future career will be supported. The company will again be running two and three year apprenticeships resulting in NVQ Level 2 and 3 qualifications alongside IMI Technical Certificates. As well as providing supportive managers and colleagues throughout JCT600, the company also gives each apprentice their own trained mentor in the work place and a vocational learning adviser linked to their training college.
Katie Saunders, HR director for JCT600, said: “Over the last six years, our apprenticeships have become increasingly popular and we’ve been able to attract large numbers of bright, enthusiastic young people into the automotive sector. With the scheme continuing to gather momentum, it’s also satisfying to see that the support we provide at college and at work has resulted in us being able to keep this talent within the business, with over 90 per cent of our apprentices choosing to stay with JCT600 and develop their careers with us.
“We’re also seeing some of our automotive brands adopting a more flexible recruitment strategy with a ‘rolling intake’ which means that we are able to take on apprentices at different times throughout the year rather than having the main intake date of September. This adaptable policy is really benefitting candidates, giving them more flexibility about when they join us and enabling us to ensure we have in place the resources and support they need.”