This month saw the return of National Apprenticeship Week (5-9 March) which aimed to raise awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships for young people seeking employment, and for companies looking to nurture home-grown talent.
Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicle Dealer group, Rygor, currently has 13 first-year commercial vehicle technician and parts apprentices training at its branches, along with a further 12 apprentices, undertaking their second, third and fourth years of the course. The firm has numerous branches in the South West including Swindon, Westbury and Bristol.
James Edwards, Rygor group technical specialist who joined the business as an apprentice 19 years ago, said: “Apprenticeships are a great way for individuals to get real work-place experience, learn all there is to know about a company and develop ‘on-the-job’, meaningful skills. From a personal perspective, the training I received gave me the skills and know-how to develop into the role I have today, and I look forward to seeing our current apprentices develop through the Rygor business over the years to come.”
George Welch, a third-year commercial vehicle technician apprentice at Rygor, said: “Personally, I chose an apprenticeship, because college wasn’t the option for me, I have always been more ‘hands–on’, with an interest in mechanics. One of the best things for me, which has come from the training, is the rest of team in the workshop. They have brought me out of my shell and the work is amazing as well. I would 100% recommend apprenticeships. They teach you life skills and you meet some great people.”
Paul Reed, owner-director at Rygor, added that the company is “all about” the team.
He said: “They are the lifeline of the business. Our commitment to investing in the skills and knowledge of our team members is unwavering and I am delighted to see that our current cohort of first-year apprentices is our largest to date. The Mercedes-Benz apprentice programme allows us to give young people life-long skills and encourages them to be the best they can be.”
Pictured above: Rygor apprentice, George Welch