Every year, almost a million people use a Halfords Autocentre. It’s the nation’s leading MOT, car service, repairs and tyres specialist.
Halfords Autocentre has been employing apprentices for 30 years. In 2022, it took on its first intake from Leicester College.
Rhoda Lee, Group Apprenticeship Manager for Halfords;
“We currently employ three apprentices from Leicester College. We asked the College to advertise the vacancies and they came back to us with around 12-15 potential students.
“They were all of a very high calibre and, while we only had positions for three of them, we could have taken on ten”
“Following a skills assessment, we offer students up to 5 days work experience where they shadow the colleagues in the centre. This gives both them and us the chance to see if it’s a good fit.
“Once we take on an apprentice, we work very closely with Leicester College. The team there has been really supportive.”
Career opportunities for Vehicle Mechanics
In recent years, there’s a been a dip in the popularity of mechanics as a career and as older mechanics are retiring, there is a gap in the market and businesses are looking for more technicians to meet demand.
Victoria Salisbury, People Development Senior Manager, said: “For us, we think of taking on apprentices as upskilling new colleagues who are joining the business and helping the future of the industry. There’s a real need to build future technicians and the apprenticeship scheme is a great way to do that.”
Victoria talked about the benefits to the business and the wider industry sector: “Apprenticeships bring much needed skill to the industry and the apprentices themselves come with a passion for the trade and an enthusiasm to learn.”
“Both our Apprenticeship Co-ordinators started with the company as apprentices and have been here ever since! Halfords Autocentre offers apprentices a career for life. Unlike some businesses which don’t always offer permanent employment once the apprenticeship is over, we like to bring them into the Halfords family and give them the benefits of the company’s values and further training opportunities.
“I’d highly recommend using Leicester College as an apprenticeship provider. We receive high quality students from them and there are permanent opportunities available once the apprenticeship has been completed.