Swansway Group is very proud of its commitment to bringing on new talent through a range of apprenticeships and currently has 46 apprentices on programme, including; Technicians, Customer Service Advisers; Administration; Vehicle Damage and Panel Beater; Parts and Digital Marketers. 2020/21 has, however, delivered unprecedented challenges around how apprenticeship programmes can be delivered and undertaken, and Swansway Group is celebrating all the determination and commitment of all its apprentices to maintain their learning progress.
Each apprentice has had to adapt their approach and working day to meet the changing circumstances that the global pandemic has required. For example, Digital Marketers have become vital to the success of the business, as their work now replaces the traditional showroom, as customers cannot currently attend in person, and must rely on videos to enable them to see products. Therefore the expectations of those in these demanding Digital Marketer roles has never been higher.
Another huge change has been that Customer Service apprentices have been unable to have any personal contact with their customers, and have had to work with their customers totally remotely. What has not changed, however, has been the requirement for them to attain the same levels of positive customer feedback, despite not being able to conduct their customers through the “customer journey” in the usual way.
All of the apprentices have experienced difficulty in accessing training outside of their place of work, with many external courses being cancelled. The consequence of this for many of the apprentices, is that their end point assessment has been delayed, meaning that they spend far longer as an apprentice then they would usually do, which of course impacts on their ability to take on a “qualified” role with all the extra benefits that this entails.
Furthermore, although Swansway Group was proud to announce that 17 apprentices qualified during 2020, it was not possible to offer them the usual graduation or celebratory activities, which are such memorable aspects of completing a programme of study.
Despite these challenges, Swansway Group apprentices continue to add huge value, by bringing a fresh perspective to all aspects of the business and by ensuring that working practices are at the forefront of delivery for all customers.
So far this year Swansway Group have recruited an Apprentice Service Advisor at their Preston Audi centre, a Technician at their Stoke Audi and are actively recruiting for a Technician at their VW Van Centre Liverpool .
Carley Farrington, Recruitment and Apprenticeship Advisor says,
“We are so proud of all our apprentices, who have weathered the storm of covid19 with such determination and commitment. Each and every one has had to deliver beyond what was originally intended for them, and each one has delivered to a remarkable standard.
We are very much looking forward to celebrating all our graduates when the time is right, and we are excited to see all the positive strides they go on to make in their careers.”
Swansway Group Director David Smyth said,
“We are extremely impressed with how all our teams have adapted to keep this vital element of our business on track. Thank you to everyone involved in keeping the Apprenticeship Programme effective, and special thanks to all the apprentices for their resilience and commitment.
I hope that despite the challenges, we have helped to instil a love of learning in all our apprentices and that they will be as proud of themselves for their accomplishments as we are.”