Transport Training Services has welcomed its first 2019/20 intake of apprentices to its purpose-built training centre at Nutts Corner.
Around 70 apprentices have already been recruited and placed with a range car and commercial vehicle employers across Northern Ireland, in apprenticeship roles including light and heavy vehicle technician, aftersales and body repair and paint.
Commercial vehicle/passenger transport driving apprentices start at any time of year and TTS is set to launch a tyre technician apprenticeship, in collaboration with the National Tyre Distributors Association, and a Traffic Office apprenticeship with the Road Haulage Association.
Included in this year’s intake are three female apprentices – two technician apprentices and one in an aftersales advisor apprenticeship.
All TTS apprentices will start sometime between now and the end of October, depending on the course and employer, but all have attended TTS in early September for induction, course registration and preparation for employment.
With the weekly ‘block’ pattern of training that TTS delivers it is possible for apprentices to start at any time of year. Most will start in the autumn but TTS will endeavour to facilitate the needs of employers and young people throughout the year.
Because of the success of this year’s recruitment campaign, technical training provision at TTS has been expanded with the employment of an additional trainer, John Walsh. This brings the total number of TTS trainers to six full time and seven associates.
TTS’s 2019/20 apprentice employers are split almost 50:50 between the main car and truck dealerships and independent companies across Northern Ireland. These employers have recognised the importance of bringing new talent into the motor and transport industries via apprenticeships to support business growth or simply to survive. With businesses all competing for the same diminishing pool of qualified technicians, drivers and aftersales staff in both sectors, well-recruited apprentices offer long term sustainability in the labour market.
Martin Hutchinson, CEO of TTS explained, “At TTS we firmly believe the only viable solution to today’s labour market challenges is to bring new blood into the motor and transport sectors via apprenticeships. Industry has a responsibility to secure its own future workforce by training our young people and return on investment studies show that employers reap the benefits quickly.”
More in the next print issue of Export & Freight