Halfords apprentice numbers highlight growing network
After completing a three-year course, 24 apprentices recently entered permanent employment at Halfords Autocentres. Each apprentice has gained NVQ Level 3 in light vehicle technology and a full-time job at Halfords Autocentres after successfully completing the course. This is good news for them, but also points to the fast rate of growth in the network.
According to the company, Halfords Autocentres operates the largest automotive aftermarket apprentice programme in the UK. It currently employs 180 apprentices, representing around 10 per cent of its technician workforce but has announced a 25 per cent increase in the number of apprentices it expects to take on in 2012. This is in addition to the 60 per cent growth the programme has already experienced over the last two years. Over 1000 young technicians have graduated from the scheme in the 20 years since it was established.
At the same time Halfords is making progress towards its target of doubling the number of branches it had when Nationwide Autocentres was taken over by the automotive retail giant (around 200). Halfords started the financial year with 260 autocentres and will end it with 280 – 290, meaning a further 20 – 30 are expected to be opened in the second half of 2012.
Bill Duffy, CEO of Halfords Autocentres, attended the ceremony to present graduates with their certificate and congratulate them on their achievement at ProVQ’s new training facility at Atcham Business Park in Shrewsbury.
Speaking at the ceremony, Bill Duffy said: “I’m very proud of our apprentice scheme which has been running for more than 20 years. In this time we’ve had more than 1100 talented and enthusiastic young people join Halfords Autocentres.”
“Today’s graduates have the opportunity to work for us as technicians or join the management training scheme. They will also go on to become accredited technicians under the voluntary Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) scheme. We are always looking for outstanding mechanics and look forward to recruiting a further 82 apprentices in September in partnership with ProVQ,” Duffy added.