Merseyside business delivers bumper apprenticeships

The high number of young people out of work has thrown apprenticeships into the spotlight, but one Merseyside business has taken employing youngsters to a new level.

By investing in six young people, Volkswagen Van Centre Liverpool is hoping to provide a platform for youngsters from the region to start a rewarding career in the automotive industry.

But, is it a gamble having so many apprentices within a small business at one time? Not according to head of business, Dave Cowan.

“Young people are the next generation of workers and potentially future management and business owners, so it’s vital we provide them a chance to achieve their potential,” said Dave.

“In this current economic climate, it’s important that local businesses give youngsters the opportunity to learn and develop a career.

“At Volkswagen Van Centre Liverpool we’re proud of our links to the local community and want play a key role in developing young people with skills that will benefit them in the long term.

“The arrival of the six apprentices reinforces our commitment to developing talent and ensuring high levels of customer service.

Eighteen-year-old Ben Nelson, from Scarisbrick, is one of the new apprentices and is grateful for the chance to show his skills.

He said: “I’m really enjoying the work environment so far and can’t thank everyone enough for their help since I started.

“I want to be a master technician, but know I’ve got to work hard over the next three years to build my career, before thinking of taking it to that level.”

Another of the apprentices, David Brady, 20, from Wavertree, said: “Opportunities for apprenticeships can be very difficult to obtain, but with six here at Volkswagen Van Centre Liverpool, it’s brilliant for us all to showcase our skills and desire to help shape our future careers.

“I’m working as part of the sales team and one day hope to managing my own team, or even running a Volkswagen Van Centre.”

The other four apprentices are parts apprentice Dean Irwin, 18, from Walton, sales trainee Jodie McKie, 18, from Netherley, sales administration trainee Ben Crawford, 18, from Gateacre Village and fleet sales trainee  Jamie Jackson, 17, from Wallasey.

Dave concluded: “These young people could have been looking for work for a long time had it not been for our focus on developing local talent and I’m sure they’ll all create successful career for themselves.

“The training regime can be tough, but the rewards at the end are excellent.

“We’re hoping this can lead to further opportunities for local young people and we can play our part in reducing youth unemployment.”