News

09/01/2020 - 15:43

Skillnet Apprentices won two gold medals, one silver and one “highly commended” award at November’s World Skills Competition and were duly recognised as the top training provider in the country.

Chief Executive Lee Acton is obviously delighted: “Being recognised as the top-performing training provider in the UK is an absolutely fantastic achievement and one that we at Skillnet are naturally extremely proud of”.

Building on his success of being “highly commended” Ford apprentice Matthew Bundy has been shortlisted to represent the UK at the WorldSkills Finals in Shanghai in...

20/12/2019 - 09:38

Andrew Mason only passed his apprenticeship in 2017, but he’s already done so well that, even at the tender age of 21, he’s already climbed the career ladder to be a Skills Coach at Skillnet.

When he was younger, he knew he wanted a hands-on job, so an apprenticeship was ideal for him. He worked as an HGV technical apprentice with Ford & Slater in Corby and really enjoyed the practical side of his work. Through his apprenticeship, he discovered his skills were broader than he’d expected.

Once Andrew qualified, his career progressed at an incredible rate

“In the year...

05/12/2019 - 14:55

David Cross is the Southern District Manager for Ford’s Customer Service Division. He has worked with Ford for 23 years, steadily climbing up the career ladder. Here David shares his thoughts on apprenticeships and career progression in the industry.

After a year working a dealership parts department, I began my Ford Toolmaker Apprenticeship, attending Havering and Barking technical colleges. I had two years in the training centre, followed by another two years alternating between working two weeks in a plant and one week in college. I qualified in 2000 with an Advanced...

05/12/2019 - 14:46

There are many advantages to doing an apprenticeship, and the main one is money. Being able to earn a living at the same time as learning a trade is a compelling reason to apply for an apprenticeship and suits many school leavers.

However, if you think that doing an apprenticeship will be an easier option than doing a degree, think again. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service ( UCAS ) advises: “Holding down a full-time job and studying takes commitment and hard work, and it won’t be right for everyone. You’ll need to prove yourself in the...

22/11/2019 - 09:27
Dave Jolles has recently started work at Skillnet as our Skills Coach & Safeguarding Officer for London & South East. Before joining us, Dave worked in non-technical roles in the automotive industry for more than 25 years, and he began his career after leaving school by starting a light commercial and heavy goods vehicle apprenticeship in 1990. Two years into his Apprenticeship, Dave began helping out more and more in the office and realised he preferred doing the non-technical work rather than the hands-on mechanics. So when an opening came up, he moved to the warranty office where...
14/11/2019 - 12:58

If you’re thinking of applying for an Apprenticeship in the automotive industry, there are many advantages and reasons to be considering an Apprenticeship as a route into the industry. We've put together a list of five of the top reasons why you should consider doing an automotive Apprenticeship and there is no better time to start than right now:

1.) An automotive Apprenticeship doesn’t have to be mechanical

If you love cars or lorries but don’t want to do a mechanical, technical role, there are plenty of non-technical Apprenticeships available in the automotive industry,...

05/11/2019 - 10:28

Sadly, the Apprenticeship Levy isn’t working as intended, and business leaders are calling for changes to be made in order to encourage greater take-up. The main problem is that many businesses are still unclear about how the system works and the Standards funding for some qualifications is not enough to pay for the delivery, resulting in a drop in the number of apprenticeships offered.

The CBI and FE Week have separately highlighted some sobering statistics that have emerged since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in 2017:

51% drop in the number of young people...
04/04/2019 - 11:18

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

We set our technical apprentices a challenge to compete against their supervisors and more experienced colleagues – everyone had to change a wheel in a set sequence against the clock to see who could complete the task in the quickest time. Ashley...

22/02/2019 - 09:11

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.

How will the new post affect your working day? So far, I’ve only been doing my new job for 10 days and my diary has gone from busy to absolutely horrendous! However, I’m a very energetic individual and get excited about what I do - my nickname isn’t Tigger for...

25/01/2019 - 10:03

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 of 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.

Dominic had always wanted to work with engines. When he left school in 2011, he was offered a full time apprenticeship with a motorcycle company. However, after a few months training,...