14th March 2016
The first apprentices to join the RAC?s new patrol academy met David Meller, Joint Chair of the Apprenticeship Delivery Board ahead of the start of National Apprenticeship Week 2016. <br><br>The new recruits began a two year apprenticeship programme in September. Studying one day a week at Barking & Dagenham College, combined with on-the-job training, the apprentices will develop the same high-level technical skills as fully-qualified RAC Patrols.
David Meller, who met the apprentices at Rush Green Campus on Friday, 11 March, said:
“An apprenticeship can literally take you anywhere, as this excellent new programme proves! Through apprenticeships, businesses and individuals can rise to the top of their profession.
“Now is the time for more young people to consider apprenticeships as a route into a successful and rewarding career and for more businesses to get on board and reap the benefits. Some of the country’s top employers are now offering work apprenticeships, traineeships and work experience to help give young people the best start in their career.”
The apprentices, who are all aged 18 to 23, are based in the Greater London area, but the RAC has its sights set on extending the academy.
RAC chief engineer David Bizley explains how apprenticeships are addressing the skills gap:
“This is something we’ve been looking at for a while because we recognise there is a lack of people with the skillset necessary for this kind of job. Not only do you have to be very highly skilled as a technician, but you must also be able to interact with customers and deal with some potentially difficult situations.
“It is the first time in our history that we’ve had Patrol apprentices, although we have taken on apprentices across other parts of the business, such as our contact centres.
“We chose Barking & Dagenham College as our partners as they came highly recommended as one of London’s leading Apprenticeship providers. Their top-to-bottom client support has been crucial in helping us identify and recruit the best candidates and get them on board with their training as quickly as possible.
“The scheme has been going really well for all six on the programme since it launched last year, and we are absolutely delighted that the group is doing better than we’d anticipated. Based on the success of this first group, we are now looking to expand the programme.
“This academy will enable the RAC to nurture young people and expand their skillset to deliver the very best of that unique combination of technical and interpersonal skills our customers require."
Yvonne Kelly, Chief Operating Officer at Barking & Dagenham College added:
“This area of East London is synonymous with the automotive industry, so it seems fitting that the College is helping these young apprentices develop the high level technical skills they need for a successful career with such a trusted UK motoring organisation.”