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National Apprenticeship Week 2024

05 Feb 2024

In honour of National Apprenticeship Week 2024, we're celebrating our apprentices at Mercedes-Benz South West, and taking a look into the benefits of apprenticeships. We have spoken to both our apprentices and their managers to find out just how important apprenticeship schemes really are.

From Sales Admin to HR Assistance, Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) Technician to Marketing, we offer a wide variety of apprentice-training roles across all departments. Training an apprentice also enables you to adjust their training to the needs of the business, which is why 78% of UK employers feel apprenticeships help to improve productivity. 

The apprentices

Summer Gibbs, HR Apprentice

My decision for choosing an apprenticeship is that I wanted to learn through experience. Whilst I am learning the theory to pass my qualification, my apprenticeship allows me to apply this theory in the workplace. I am also developing my interpersonal skills because I am being exposed to situations that I would not have been exposed to if I had gone to university. This helps to support my personal growth which will ultimately contribute to my professional growth. 

One of the biggest skills that I have gained from my apprenticeship is confidence. Since I started in April, I have witnessed my confidence grow massively which has definitely helped me to grow in my role too. I am now able to complete a range of jobs independently and I will always give things a try and I am not afraid to ask for help if I need it.

Besides confidence, I am also developing a variety of transferable skills such as problem solving, team work and my ability to use technology.

My favourite part about my apprenticeship is that I have the opportunity to apply the content I am learning at college to real scenarios at work. Being able to see how the content I am learning is applied in the real world is really helpful to understanding it better. This also improves my confidence when completing assignments. In addition, it helps me to recognise the purpose of my role and how the jobs I carry out contribute to the running of the organisation.

I also enjoy being able to ask the team questions, rather than just my tutor. Whilst my tutor knows the content, the team are working within the HR department so they will arguably have a better understanding and can explain things from a different perspective, or by using real life examples.

I think that Mercedes-Benz have really supported me since starting. I am always given the opportunity to get involved where I can, especially in areas that are relevant to my course. The team are so supportive and they are always there to help me, even if they are busy themselves. With their help I am now able to complete a wide range of jobs independently and the team encourage me to share my ideas, making me feel empowered and confident in my own knowledge. 

Callum Tilley, LCV Technician Apprentice

I chose an apprenticeship so I could learn the trade and earn a living at the same time. My alternatives would have been a full-time college course or a full-time supermarket job, but I knew an apprentice would help to set me up for a career in the motor trade. 

My apprenticeship has allowed me to learn all about vehicle maintenance, but also people skills, IT skills, and Maths and English. Mercedes-Benz have massively improved my knowledge on the motor trade and vehicle maintenance, in a way I wouldn't have been able to get in a full-time course at college. There are so many benefits to the brands, and I've made some great friends too. 

Toby Morrell, LCV Technician Apprentice

I chose to apply for an apprenticeship as I was missing out on hands-on training in my college course, which I feel is really important. My apprenticeship is preparing me for the future by teaching me practical skills that I actually use on a daily basis.

I have gained many skills that help me every day, and I have developed a full understanding of the Mercedes-Benz vehicles, which has taught me the ins and outs of how they run. My favourite part of my apprenticeship is having a new challenge every day, and being part of the team. I hope once I graduated I can continue doing what I'm doing with the business, where I feel hugely supported by my team, my manager, and the company.

The managers

Sam Knight

Having started my career in the motor trade as an apprentice, I have a very positive view on apprenticeships. Apprenticeships offer you the chance of growing and training your own team how you want them to be. The main benefits for the apprentices comes from learning on the job, and the support you can receive from experienced trained mentors in the workplace and huge support both academically and personally from the training centre.

The most rewarding part of having apprentices is watching them grow up in the workplace and begin shaping their future. It is highly motivating to see people grow into an extremely rewarding career by learning a trade. Apprenticeships are a great way to bring people into a professional working environment with guidance and support. 

Jack Coombe 

With how quickly technology is advancing, our apprentices are being taught the latest information relating to the products they are working on, allowing them to keep up-to-date with the changes. The technicians on my site who have apprentices take a real pride in how they are developing and coaching their apprentice, which in turn makes gives them a better job satisfaction when they get praised for how well their apprentice does.  

I believe that a lot of people who want to start a career in the motor industry tend to be more hands-on and practical, so this brings out those skills in people quicker. They also gain experience learning from technicians who have been in the trade for various amounts of years. I find it rewarding when you see them being able to carry out tasks by themselves, and it's great to see the ownership that technicians who have an apprentice take over theirs. 

Apprentices benefit from apprenticeships in many different ways, but the main one is that they’re learning while earning a wage. 

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