The latest class of Volvo Trucks HGV apprentice technicians were rewarded for their hard work at a cap & gown graduation ceremony at De Montfort Hall, in Leicester.
Sixty-five apprentices, including three female technicians, were welcomed onto the stage at the Volvo Trucks Apprentice Awards 2022 by Leicester Lord Mayor Cllr George Cole, Mark Palin, Head of Customer Support for Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland and acting Pro-Vice Chancellor for Enterprise at De Montfort University, Helen Donnellan. The event also saw live performances from the Leicester Japanese Taiko drummers, and guest soloist Millie Hancock.
Karen Bailey, Head of Competence Development at Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland, says: “The annual awards ceremony is a really nice way of recognising the achievements of our graduates, who will now go on to form the bedrock of our technician team across the Volvo Trucks dealer network.
“Volvo Trucks has always recognised the value that apprenticeships can bring to the business. Each year we have around 100 young men and women who come through our apprentice scheme, all of whom will go into full-time employment as fully qualified HGV technicians. In a very tight labour market, we are proud of those figures and are hoping to increase that even further over the coming years.”
The three-year Level 3 Institute of Motor Industry (IMI) apprenticeship, supported by partner Remit Training, involves a mix of academic learning and on-the-job training. The course culminates in a two-day End Point Assessment including written tests and practical exercises, with each apprentice producing a portfolio of repair and maintenance work under the watchful eye of an exam assessor. At the end of the assessment the participants are awarded a pass, merit or distinction depending on their results.
This year Volvo Trucks led the way nationally, with Will Guest of Hartshorne Group landing the UK’s first distinction, and three further graduates achieving distinction grades soon after.
“It was a particularly challenging period for these apprentices as they had to cope with the added pressures and disruption from the coronavirus pandemic, but it hasn’t held them back,” adds Bailey. “Our results this year have been fantastic. We were also delighted to have three female technicians come through the scheme and next year we will be launching our ‘Women in HGV’ initiative where we will be looking for more than 10 female apprentices to introduce to the industry.”