National Apprenticeship Week is the time when all eyes are on Apprenticeships and the Institute of the Motor Industry is keen to celebrate the variety of options available to Apprentices in the automotive retail industry.

    National Apprenticeship Week takes place from Monday 6 February to Friday 10 February 2011. Organised by the National Apprenticeship Service this is the fifth year that learning providers, employers, apprentices and their families have come together to highlight the talents and skills of apprentices and celebrate their value to businesses across the country.

    Vocational training is very rewarding for young people as they can earn as they learn. They have the benefit of both a college environment and a real life work environment, plus at the end of their Apprenticeship there is a very good chance that they will be kept on in a full time role by their current employer.

    Many well known figures have started out as apprentices within the automotive sector. Take Ross Brawn, he started out as a trainee engineer with the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority where he studied instrumentation. Since then he went on to work in Formula One for Benetton, Ferrari, Brawn GP team, Honda, and Mercedes Benz.

    Sir Jackie Stewart also started out as an Apprentice at his parent’s garage before going on to win three world titles. John Surtees, world champion on both two and four wheels, was an Apprentice for the Vincent factory at the outset of his career.

    Linda Stansfield FIMI, Chief Operating Officer at the IMI said: “The retail automotive industry is an attractive sector to work in which is open to all and has very clear career progression pathways. With over 11,000 young people choosing to take an Apprenticeship in our sector, they continue to be a great way to get into the industry and the success that former apprentices have achieved demonstrates where an automotive apprenticeship can take you.”

    A lot of emphasis is put on the technical side of the industry but there are many other options such sales, management, marketing, human resources, finance and in administration. However if you start out as a technician it doesn’t mean that is where you are going to stay. You could move on to become a workshop manager, a branch manager, run your own business even and become your own boss.

    Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said: “Across the automotive industry people have started their careers at dealerships, or as a technician, who are now managers, or working for manufacturers all over the world. Industry and government are working hard to communicate these opportunities to young people and automotive businesses are committed to recruiting, training and progressing employees at every level. The prospects are excellent for those people choosing to take-up a career in the automotive industry, so demonstrating this to students, parents and teachers must be a high priority.”

    An Apprenticeship is only the start point of a very rewarding career which can take you any where you like within the automotive retail industry, it is rewarding, interesting and you can earn as you learn.

    A number of events are taking place throughout National Apprenticeship Week across the automotive retail sector giving an insight into the sector. To see where these events are taking place visit