SMH Group has moved to address the skills shortage in the body shop sector by expanding its trainee scheme by 30%.
According to The Fleet Transport Association (FTA), staff shortages in repair workshops have reached crisis point, with more than half of vacancies unlikely to be filled.
SMH Group, a fleet solutions business, is hiring new apprentices at its sites in Bedford, Worcester, Gloucester and St Helens.
Commenting on the scheme, Caroline Reeves, HR business partner at SMH Group, said: “Our apprentice scheme goes from strength-to-strength. It is vital that our industry continues to attract fresh talent and we have found that young people are often surprised at the career they can enjoy within our sector.”
The apprenticeship programme will manage up to 20 apprentices across SMH Group operations in 2020.
The news follows the recent launch of a new £10 million operations centre in St Helens. The 20-acre development SMH Group site will service SMH Fleet Solutions and CD Auction Group. It provides workshop and refurbishment facilities, secure storage, vehicle inspection, a logistics management base as well as a state-of-the-art imaging studio to support the online auction operation.
Vehicles will be processed and imaged, sold online and then delivered out to the buyer from the new facility, saving on transport costs for clients.