Halfords Autocentres crowns NVQ graduate in record year for apprentice programme
Halfords Autocentres has called 2014 a “record year” for its automotive apprentice programme. 72 new apprentices joined the scheme this year, leading to Halfords’ claim that it is the largest programme in the UK automotive industry. The servicing chain crowned third year NVQ Floyd Ullah (19) from Scunthorpe the winner of its annual apprentice competition, noting that competition for the accolade is growing annually.
Halfords Autocentres technical training manager, Satnam Singh said: “Whilst we have had a record intake of apprentices this year, we have plans to grow the programme even further.
“Currently two thirds of our garages have an apprentice but our aim is to attract and recruit enough apprentices to have at least one in every Autocentre and keep replenishing them with fresh talent as they graduate and take up jobs within the business.
“This year’s winner thoroughly deserves the Apprentice of the Year title because the calibre of his competition improves every year – making it a very exciting and hard fought competition.”
Ullah was one of 12 shortlisted apprentices from more than 200 taking part in the competition. Following a day-long series of assessments, judges awarded him the title and presented him with his trophy, a £500 prize and an iPad Air. He will also now been entered into the World Skills competition taking place next year.
On receiving his prize he commented: “I’m over the moon. The tests push you to your limit because each of the different scenarios you’re put through are designed to test the knowledge you’ve gained during three years of study towards your NVQ.”
The pace of technological change within the automotive industry means that the training Halfords Autocentres apprentices receive through training partner ProVQ, as well as the challenges set during the competition each year, continue to evolve in order to maintain the business’ high standards and deliver industry-ready technicians capable of working on any make or model of car.
IMI external quality assurer Gary Hewadine added: “The IMI are proud to be associated with Halfords and ProVQ. Through rewarding challenges such as the Apprentice of the Year contest it is evident that real value is placed in the achievements of each individual.
“As the automotive industry’s chosen Awarding Organisation it is pleasing and encouraging to see the high levels of investment, commitment and professionalism being placed in the training and development of the rising stars participating in this apprenticeship programme.”
The Halfords Autocentre apprentice scheme provides a structured three-year vocational training programme and sees successful participants graduate with an NVQ Level Three in Light Vehicle Technology as well as a technical certificate from the Institute of the Motor Industry.
Halfords Autocentres currently employs around 230 apprentices, representing around 10 per cent of its technician workforce, and takes on a fresh crop of promising youngsters each year as all of those who graduate take up full time employment within the business.