Motor Transport Awards 2018 offered the ‘Apprenticeship of the Year’ award to Ford and Slater, one of the UK’s largest independent DAF dealership groups. With over 50 apprentices across ten locations, the award recognises the group’s commitment and approach to developing apprentices within the organisation.
During the past 18 months the organisation has taken big steps to develop their apprenticeship programme further, most importantly through the appointment of a dedicated Group Apprentice Coordinator – Lee Sursham. The appointment of Lee has enabled the business to develop stronger relationships with local schools and colleges and provide a single point of contact for apprentices, ensuring consistency of support.
“His creativity, inventiveness and leadership of the Ford and Slater apprentices has impressed everyone involved in the DAF apprentice programme. This role ensures the apprentices have additional dedicated support and guidance which is welcomed by the busy Service Managers. The appointment has created a new desire amongst the apprentices to work as a team and succeed at the highest level possible,” commented about the appointment Tony Shepherd, Business Services Manager at DAF Trucks UK.
Moreover, Lee has taken a different approach when it comes to marketing, attending careers fairs, giving presentations in local schools, hosting open days at the Dealership locations and developing a new suite of printed and digital marketing material.
In all these efforts, Lee has been supported by an ‘Apprentice Panel’ created by Ford and Slater to develop the soft skills of apprentices and increase their engagement and inclusion in the programme and wider Ford and Slater business.
The results of the efforts made over the last 18 months has been an increase in both the quality and quantity of the apprentice intake with 100% pass rate in the last two years, 95% retention rate from the 2017 intake and four apprentices shortlisted as finalists at the 2017 DAF Apprentice of the Year Awards.
Ford and Slater has been a passionate supporter of the DAF Apprentice Programme since its inception in 1995, with 1,700 apprentices from 133 DAF dealers having had completed the DAF Programme and over 200 graduating through Ford and Slater.