Transport Training Services has welcomed its first 2019/20 intake of apprentices to its purpose-built training centre at Nutts Corner.
Around 70 apprentices have already been recruited and placed with a range car and commercial vehicle employers across Northern Ireland. Approximately two-thirds of these are light vehicle technician apprentices, with the remainder in heavy vehicle technician, aftersales, body repair and paint, and driving apprenticeship roles. The commercial vehicle driver apprentices start at any time of year.
Included in this year’s intake are three female apprentices – two technician apprentices and one in an aftersales advisor apprenticeship.
All TTS apprentices will start sometime between the beginning of September and the end of October, depending on the course and employer, but all have attended TTS in early September for induction, course registration and preparation for employment.
With the weekly ‘block’ pattern of training that TTS delivers it is possible for apprentices to start at any time of year. Most will start in the autumn but TTS will endeavour to facilitate the needs of employers and young people throughout the year.
As well as heavy and light vehicle technician, body repair and paint, parts and service advisor and commercial vehicle/passenger transport driving apprenticeships, TTS is launching a tyre technician apprenticeship, in collaboration with the National Tyre Distributors Association, and a Traffic Office apprenticeship with the Road Haulage Association.
Because of the success of this year’s recruitment campaign, technical training provision at TTS has been expanded with the employment of an additional trainer, John Walsh. This brings the total number of TTS trainers to six full time and seven associates.
TTS’s 2019/20 apprentice employers are split almost 50:50 between the main car and truck dealerships and independent companies across Northern Ireland. These employers have recognised the importance of bringing new talent into the motor and transport industries via apprenticeships to support business growth or simply to survive. With businesses all competing for the same diminishing pool of qualified technicians, drivers and aftersales staff in both sectors, well-recruited apprentices offer long term sustainability in the labour market.
Martin Hutchinson, CEO of TTS explained, “At TTS we firmly believe the only viable solution to today’s labour market challenges is to bring new blood into the motor and transport sectors via apprenticeships. Industry has a responsibility to secure its own future workforce by training our young people and return on investment studies show that employers reap the benefits quickly”.
Growing and developing your own talent can improve how you work, raise your productivity and increase your profits. Verified research by the Institute of the Motor Industry found that apprentices typically generate a return on investment of between 150 and 300% and can generate profit within 18-24 months, often earlier. Figures produced by another study showed that the average apprenticeship improves business productivity by £214 per week, with the apprentice national minimum wage starting at just £3.90. Additionally, growing the workforce using apprentices reduces long term recruitment and training costs.
If none of the above are good enough reasons to recruit an apprentice, giving a young person a good start in life is a socially responsible and rewarding thing to do. We all had to start somewhere!
TTS apprentices are vetted through a robust assessment programme to ascertain their suitability and are put through basic skills training, so employers are assured of recruits that are eager to learn, adaptable and well prepared for the workplace. Apprentices and employers both benefit from TTS’s Career Development Officer, Robert Deignan, who is the link between both parties, supporting each with every part of the apprenticeship, from recruitment through to training and qualification.
As well as training apprentices to industry standards, TTS can also incorporate brand-specific modules for employers that require tailored training content and work closely with Peugeot/Citroen, Ford, Toyota/Lexus, Kia, Hyundai and in the truck sector DAF, Renault, Iveco and Scania.
Unlike some other apprenticeship providers, TTS apprentices work for their employer five days per week all year round, with the exception of attendance at TTS approximately one week every two months for training. TTS prefers this ‘block release’ model to a weekly day release, because employers can more easily plan workload around the apprentice being away for training.
For apprentices under 25 years old, the cost of the apprenticeship training is fully funded by the Department for the Economy.
Employers considering an apprentice are encouraged to contact Robert Deignan at TTS as soon as possible to ensure recruitment is completed in time for the remaining 2019 intake.