As ever, Skillnet got fully involved with National Apprenticeship Week in March. NAW is organised by the UK government as a celebration of the skills and abilities of apprentices all over the country, and we encouraged dealers throughout the Ford and DAF networks to join in the fun!

The Wheel Change Challenge

Chris Kenny joined us at Skillnet three years ago. He’s been working as Programme Manager for the Ford apprenticeship scheme, but has just taken on the additional role of Head of Delivery, giving him a much wider remit. We thought it’d be great idea to ask him a few questions to try and get to know him better.

We’re often asked the question, “What can an apprenticeship lead to?” The honest answer is “virtually anything!” It’s up to you as to how far you want to take your career and in what direction. Some our apprentices go on to specialise and build expertise in their chosen field, others go into management, and some, like one of our trainee tutors Dominic Flint, become trainers themselves.

Charlotte is a second year apprentice working in vehicle body repair at Newport Ford Mon Motors and is attached to Cardiff & Vale College. 

She made the decision to apply for an apprenticeship after two months at university - she realised that doing an apprenticeship would suit her better as she could get work experience at the same time as learning. In fact, the work/learning balance is one of the things she likes best about her apprenticeship. 

Welcome to our new Sales Director, Matt Benns. He joins us after nearly 20 years working with manufacturers the VW Group at SEAT, Volkswagen and Mazda, and as Global Sales Director providing transactional websites for the automotive industry.

In order to introduce him to Skillnet, we asked him a few questions to find out more about his work experience and ethic, as well as a little bit about what makes him tick. 


Following employee feedback, we’ve come up with a brand new benefits package to help attract and retain the best Skillnet Employees.

The Skillnet in-service Benefits Bag has been created and we think employees will be very happy with what we’ve come up with. 

The package has been designed to reward loyalty and great work, so benefits will just keep getting better and better!

Upgrades will kick in on the anniversary of when you first started working at Skillnet. (Terms and conditions apply.)

On Thursday 11th October, on behalf of Ford of Britain ,Skillnet will be hosting the annual Ford Apprentice of the Year Awards at the Henry Ford Academy in Daventry. 

27 finalists undertaking Apprenticeships in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair, Parts, Vehicle Body Repair and Business and Professional Services will be recognised at the awards ceremony. 

Showcasing apprentices and dealers

Congratulations to the Skillnet apprentices who have been announced as finalists in the Institute of Motoring’s Outstanding Technicians Awards which have been designed to showcase talent and recognise excellence across the motoring industry.

We are delighted that our partners, Ford & Slater, won the Apprenticeship of the Year award at the Motor Transport Awards, aka “the Oscars of the transport industry”!

The win was a result of the increase in the attraction, retention and attainment of the group’s apprentices over the last 18 months, not to mention the 100% pass rate in the last two years. They have also had a 95% retention rate from the 2017 intake, and four of their apprentices shortlisted as finalists at the 2017 DAF Apprentice of the Year Awards.

At Skillnet, we encourage all our apprentices to use eTrack, to record progress and build up their portfolio.

eTrack allows learners to take ownership of their qualification, and also allows Skills Coaches to keep an eye on their learners’ progress at any time. As soon as learners upload a piece of evidence, their Skills Coach and IQA can get instant access to it, which speeds up the assessment process and prevents evidence from getting lost or getting delayed in the post etc.