The future looks bright for Mercedes-Benz West Bromley after two of its apprentices were named as Britain’s best by the vehicle manufacturer.
Ben Wood was chosen as Mercedes-Benz Technician Apprentice of the Year, whilst colleague Lewis Bainbridge received the accolade for Parts Operations Specialist.
Along with two other finalists in each category, the duo was shortlisted from 550 students currently undertaking the award-winning Mercedes-Benz Apprentice Programme. Their wins were announced at the Mercedes-Benz World experiential brand centre in Brooklands, Surrey, where the finalists and their guests enjoyed exhilarating Mercedes-AMG and 4×4 Driving Experiences.
Ben and Lewis can now look forward to a further taste of high-octane motoring as part of their prize as they have been invited to undertake work experience with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1® team in the week leading up to the British Grand Prix in July.
Commenting on their selection as the top apprentices, Andrew Mallery, Training Operations Director, Mercedes-Benz, said that both Ben and Lewis were worthy winners having excelled across a wide range of criteria including the results achieved in online tests and practical assignments as well as their positive attitude to their work and learning – on-the-job within the retailer environment and during block release study at the Mercedes-Benz National Apprentice Academy in Milton Keynes.
“Ben has proved to be very mature for just 16-years-old and his can-do attitude and positivity towards even the most challenging of tasks have impressed his manager, trainer and assessor,” said Andrew. “He really has worked to an incredibly high standard and earned the respect of colleagues for his unstinting commitment and drive.
“Lewis has also completed his work on time and to an exceptional standard,” he added. “When it comes to service, Lewis has received numerous commendations from customers for his willingness to go the extra mile to assist them and he certainly displays a hard-working mentality by always volunteering to cover shifts or work extra hours to help his team if required.”
Andrew concluded: “With a 91% completion rate, the reputation of our Apprentice Programme continues to go from strength-to-strength and we’re expecting another record number of applications again this year.
“As highlighted by Ben, Lewis and the other finalists, the calibre of students coming through the Programme is second-to-none and means that our customers both now and in the future can look forward to receiving the very highest standards of technical expertise, product knowledge and service.”
Ben, who is in the first year of his three-year apprenticeship, has already set his sights on becoming a Diagnostic Technician.
“From an early age, I’ve always loved cars and regarded Mercedes-Benz as the best so the opportunity to work on these vehicles and their state-of-the-art technology as a technician is just a dream come true,” explained Ben.
“I don’t believe that I could find a better retailer to work at, improve my skills and develop my career. I really feel I’m flourishing and winning the award has made me even happier although it still hasn’t sunk in.”
July can’t come soon enough for second year apprentice and motorsport fan Lewis, who has his 20th birthday and Mercedes-AMG Petronas work experience to look forward to in the space of an exciting fortnight.
“We’re always talking about F1® at work so the chance to go behind-the-scenes with the reigning World Constructors Champions is a money-can’t-buy experience that will stay with me forever and I genuinely haven’t stopped smiling since my name was read out at the awards ceremony,” he enthused.
“From building relationships with customers on the front desk to helping out members of our service team, I’ve loved every minute since I’ve come here and there is never a dull moment. The support available from the Apprentice Programme is incredible and I’ve learned so much about parts and made so many friends at the Academy that Mercedes-Benz is the brand that I’m determined to stay with for a long, long time.”
The six Mercedes-Benz Passenger Car Apprentice of the Year finalists were:
Winner; Ben Wood, Mercedes-Benz West Bromley
Charlie Mason, Mercedes-Benz of North Wales
Ewan Knowles, Mercedes-Benz of Edinburgh
Parts Operations Specialist
Winner; Lewis Bainbridge, Mercedes-Benz West Bromley
Natalie Green, Mercedes-Benz of Oxford
Georgia Parslow, Mercedes-Benz Epsom
The Mercedes-Benz Apprentice Programme was named as winner of the Large Employer category in this year’s National Apprenticeship Awards and has also achieved Grade One Outstanding status for Outcomes for Learners from Ofsted. More than 3,000 people have undertaken technician and parts specialist training through the Programme since it began in 1995 – 65% of whom are still working within the Retailer network.