Repair business Steer Automotive Group is planning to significantly grow its apprenticeship programme next year, with an aim for apprentices to make up 16% of its technical workforce by the end of 2024.
Following a report by the Institute of the Motor Industry which predicted there will be 160,000 vacancies in the sector by 2031, Steer said it was working to address this issue by nurturing and, most importantly, retaining young talent.
Steer currently has 159 apprentices employed across 90% of its 98 sites. Steer recruits apprentices directly, through the National Apprenticeship service, partnerships with charitable organisations such as Auto Raise and School of Thought, and referrals.
Working in partnership with a select group of training providers to ensure consistency and high-quality training, apprentices do most of their training on the job supported by a mentor, combined with short periods in local training centres.
Team building sessions help the group connect and Steer’s suppliers provide further training to keep apprentices abreast of new materials, methods, and technologies.
Steer’s commitment to investing in young talent comes as it celebrated its apprentices at the Steer Apprentice Academy Awards, which recognised the achievements of its 159 apprentices. The Awards were aimed at rewarding exceptional work across the automotive technician disciplines, including paint, panel, and Vehicle Mechanical, Electrical and Trim (MET) for each of our regions. As well as announcing winners across 13 categories, standards were so high that six “Highly Commended” prizes were also given.
- Steer Regional Apprentice of the Year – South – Mohammed Qais Mehdi
- Steer Regional Apprentice of the Year – North – Rhys Kane
- Steer Regional Apprentice of the Year – Midlands – Miguel Harvey
- Steer Regional Apprentice of the Year – Apollo & Balgores – Rosie Smith
- Paint Apprentice of the Year – Rosie Smith
- Panel Apprentice of the Year – Brandon Redshaw
- MET Apprentice of the Year – Daniel Thacker
- People’s Choice Award – David Lindert
- Steer Rising Star – Nathan Hoe
- Steer Apprentice Mentor of the Year – Duncan Adams
- Apprentice Trainer of the Year – Chris Griffith
Gavin Ruddick, chief operating officer at Steer Automotive Group said, “The apprenticeship programme at Steer Automotive Group has always been at the heart of the business. Ultimately, our apprentices are the future of our industry, bringing fresh perspectives, innovative ideas, and a strong work ethic to our team. Our investment in their growth and development reflects our dedication to creating the workforce of tomorrow.”
Miguel Harvey, apprentice paint technician at Steer Automotive Group said, “Since joining Steer’s apprenticeship programme, I’ve learnt a lot and immediately felt like a valued member of the team. Learning from managers and colleagues who also started as apprentices is amazing; they understand the challenges and give me confidence that this is the right career path for me.”