Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Nationwide calls for more female apprentices
Article Type: Notes and news From: Industrial and Commercial Training, Volume 43, Issue 5
Nationwide, a UK fixed-site and mobile vehicle repairer, launched its 2011 apprentice-recruitment drive with a call for more young women to consider a career in the motor-repair industry.
Last year, Nationwide received 4,778 apprentice applications, of which only 366 were from female school-leavers – less than 8 per cent.
There will be a minimum of 73 vacancies in 2011, including both vehicle technician and commercial roles. The vehicle technician opportunities include some of the more traditional apprenticeship roles such as paint spraying, panel beating and strip fitting, while the commercial roles include office-based functions such as part supply, estimating, customer service, HR, marketing and finance. These roles are based across the UK, either in the Nationwide repair centre, with the mobile repairs and motor-glass teams, at head office in Oxfordshire, in either of two commercial centres in Hartford and Northwich, or at the headquarters of the mobile operations in Leicester.
In 2010, Nationwide hired 13 female apprentices throughout the year – compared to just five in 2008. “We are actively encouraging young women to apply for both the vehicle-technician and the commercial roles, as we are still receiving a relatively small number of applications”, explained Louisa Walker, recruitment-team leader. “There is a misconception that the automotive-repair industry is still ‘just for boys’ but this is absolutely not the case. Most of the applications we received from young women in 2010 were for the vehicle technician roles, rather than the corporate roles. There is equal opportunity to succeed on the workshop floor and in the boardroom – so there are fantastic opportunities for women who join the business as school-leavers.
“We work hard at Nationwide to support our apprentices and encourage learning in the workplace and at college – so it is a great environment for dedicated, enthusiastic 16-to-19-year-olds”.
Nationwide invests more than £2m a year in its apprenticeship program. The business employs up to 250 apprentices at any one time. Of those who complete their training and qualifications, 90 per cent stay with the company to continue their careers.
All Nationwide apprentices attend a residential, outward-bound course during the early stages of their apprenticeship, designed to help with the transition from school to work. They continue to receive on-the-job and external training throughout their apprenticeship. Each is given a mentor for the duration of the training, plus a Nationwide apprentice passport, which forms a portfolio of progress and achievements.