Family automotive retailer JCT600 is celebrating having welcomed another 40 apprentices this year – 12 more than planned. Since launching its carefully tailored training scheme for young people five years ago, the £1.25 billion turnover Yorkshire-based business has attracted and retained 100 apprentices in a variety of roles.
With its headquarters in Bradford, JCT600 offers apprenticeships based at most of its 52 dealerships throughout Yorkshire, the North East, the Humber, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.
Throughout the year, It hosts assessment days for young people and their parents to give them more information about the company and the wide variety of roles available, from trainee service advisers to apprentice technicians and parts apprentices.
Katie Saunders, HR director for JCT600, said: “When young people are looking for job opportunities, the motor industry may not necessarily be a sector which they immediately think of. However, it has undergone a huge transformation in recent years with companies like JCT600 investing in high tech showrooms and specially tailored training programmes to attract the brightest talent. Motor retail also offers a huge choice of roles, many of which potential recruits may not be aware of, for example, the parts adviser is proving to be a great choice for those new to the sector.
“Most of all, what we’re looking for is potential. We want enthusiastic young people with a genuine passion to learn and embrace our culture which is all about putting the customer at the core of everything we do. While having some academic qualifications and IT skills is desirable, being hardworking, motivated and having a ‘can-do’ attitude is more important. In return, we’ll invest in your training and give you support along the way, enabling you to develop your career with JCT600 as well as providing all of the benefits you would expect from one of the Sunday Times’ ‘best companies to work for’.
“We’ve worked hard over the last five years to design a programme which gives our apprentices the training they need for their chosen role, It’s fantastic to see so many bright, young people joining the JCT600 family and making their future with us.”
Having now filled all of the vacancies for 2018, JCT600 is preparing to launch its 2019 scheme. It will again be running two and three year apprenticeships resulting in NVQ Level 2 and 3 qualifications alongside IMI Technical Certificates. As well as providing supportive managers and colleagues throughout JCT600, the company also gives each apprentice their own trained mentor in the work place and a vocational learning adviser linked to their training college.
Four young people in Bradford and Leeds who have embarked on careers with JCT600 are Oliver Mouatt, Jessica Suffield, Patrick Wall and Conor Asquith-Smith.
Oliver, 21, a third year parts adviser apprentice from Yeadon who works at Vauxhall Bradford, said: “My dad works for JCT600 and a few years ago, I worked for a sub-contractor cleaning cars at JCT600 dealerships, so I knew they were a great company to work for. I had a look at their website and really fancied being a parts adviser because it’s such a diverse role. Once I complete my apprenticeship at Vauxhall Bradford, which is one of JCT600’s biggest parts operations, I’m hoping to manage one of the smaller sites and work my way up through the ranks.”
Eighteen year old Jessica who lives in Bradford is a second year apprentice technician at Porsche Leeds. She comments: “I’ve really enjoyed my two years with Porsche so far and I’m planning to carry on and develop my skills further. The apprenticeship is very well-structured – there’s lots of guidance and support at work and the weeks we spend at college are really good.”
First year apprentice Patrick, 17, who lives in Guiseley, also works at Porsche Leeds as an apprentice technician and joined the company as a result of its relationship with the Prince’s Trust having already won the charity’s Breakthrough Award. Patrick said: “It’s fantastic to be learning the trade and progressing as a technician. I was planning to go to college, but this apprenticeship has given me the chance to gain qualifications on the job. It’s a really supportive company – my mentor is great and I can learn while I work.”
Conor, age 20 from Bradford, has started on the first year of his training as a technician at Volkswagen Bradford, and was also recruited through the Prince’s Trust. He explains: “I’ve always wanted to be a technician, so this is a dream come true for me. I did work experience at JCT600 through the Prince’s Trust, went through a number of interviews and got this job at the end of it – it’s a huge achievement and I’m exactly where I want to be.”
With a team of 2,250 colleagues, JCT600 has been listed in the Sunday Times’ ‘Best Companies to Work For’ list in recognition of its outstanding levels of employee engagement. The company sells 21 of the world’s most respected brands such as Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, Ferrari, Jaguar Landrover, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Vauxhall and Volkswagen.