A Kent-based trio of young service technicians have taken another step on the road to fulfilling professional careers by graduating from the acclaimed Mercedes-Benz Apprenticeship Programme.
Dan Goodwin, Ethan Macrae and James Wickham are all employed by Mercedes-Benz Dealer Sparshatts Truck & Van – Dan and Ethan work at the company’s Sittingbourne headquarters, while James is based at its Ashford branch.
All have completed their three-year apprenticeships and become qualified commercial vehicle technicians. The learning doesn’t stop there, however, because they have now embarked on ‘improver’ years, to develop their knowledge and skills still further.
Sparshatts Group Service Manager Gary Wilson said: “Dan, Ethan and James have demonstrated great aptitude and enthusiasm to reach this important milestone in their career development.
“Their success is also testament to Sparshatts’ philosophy of ‘growing our own’. We are committed to nurturing the talents of young people who join our organisation so that each can fully realise his or her potential and help us to continue providing the highest levels of customer service to local operators long into the future.”
The pioneering commitment of Mercedes-Benz to the training and development of its young people was recognised at the latest National Apprenticeship Awards, where it took the honours in the category for Large Employers with between 250 and 4,999 staff.
Dan, aged 21, lives in Gillingham and had spent a year at college, studying to be an electrician, before joining Sparshatts. “I’d always wanted to be a vehicle technician, and was looking out for job opportunities the whole time,” he said. “When I heard there were openings at Sparshatts I jumped at the chance to work for such a highly-regarded brand.”
At 19, Ethan is the youngest of the three. He lives on the Isle of Sheppey and joined the apprenticeship programme straight from school. “My Dad is a truck driver so I’ve been around commercial vehicles all my life, and this opportunity was exactly what I was looking for,” he recalled. “The training process is so comprehensive that we all appreciate it’s given us a great start in life.”
James, who is 22, was already studying to be a motor mechanic at college when he applied to do a week’s work experience at Sparshatts. The experience was entirely positive for both parties, and a year later he was delighted to win a coveted apprenticeship. “My Dad was a truck technician too, so I suppose it’s in my genes,” he smiled. “I’m also lucky enough to live just a few minutes’ walk away from work.”
The Mercedes-Benz Apprenticeship Programme has welcomed almost 3,000 young people for technician and parts specialist training since its inception in 1995 – 65% are still working within the manufacturer’s Dealer and Retailer network.
Sparshatts Truck & Van sells and supports the award-winning Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans and FUSO Canter light truck ranges from its head office in Sittingbourne, and branches in Ashford, Dartford and Tonbridge.