Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is piloting a nationwide internship programme providing practical experience to college graduates at Van Centres.
The scheme, launched in partnership with Autotech Academy, gives newly qualified automotive students a route into full-time employment within the industry and provides the next generation with a real-world opportunity to use the skills and knowledge they’ve learnt at college.
The 10 paid interns recruited in the class of 2021 are now in roles at Van Centres across the UK, shadowing experienced technicians to take their first steps in the automotive industry.
A further 20 Van Centres have registered a vacancy following the launch of the internship scheme, with plans to grow throughout 2022 as Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles continues to develop the talent of tomorrow and help reduce the number of automotive college-leavers finding employment in other sectors.
Paul Anderson, National Aftersales Manager, commented: “This new internship scheme adds another element beyond our existing apprenticeship scheme, supporting those at the end of their college education into work. By offering practical experience in paid employment to these interns, we are able to build a future pipeline that keeps talented technicians in the industry.”
Wayne Ollershaw, Head of Business at Birmingham Van Centre, who has taken on two interns, said: “I was extremely impressed with how well equipped the interns were, and their eagerness to start work. We have taken on apprentices in the past and it continues to play a part of our strategy, but when they come fresh from school, they don’t hold the college-learned theory so, understandably, it takes longer for them to gain the necessary knowledge and skills required to carry out repair or servicing work.”
The new programme is in addition to Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ apprenticeship scheme, which offers training as a Service Technician, Parts Advisor and Service Advisor, using both practical and theoretical learning in the brand’s Van Centres, as well as at the Volkswagen Group’s National Learning Centre in Milton Keynes. In 2021, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles inducted 34 apprentices into this wider scheme.
As Paul Anderson added: “Working in a Van Centre is an exciting, varied and evolving experience. Some people’s perceptions of workshops continue to be very outdated, and we’re excited to show a new generation of technicians and sales and service staff what it’s really like. Skills gained via apprenticeships or internships open up many opportunities for the future in a modern, electric and digital company.”
SOURCE: Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles