Gateshead
Apprentice Aaron Ditchburn at work alongside Dave Nichols (centre) of Halfords Autocentres and Ivan Jepson (right) of Gateshead College.
Rebecca Wayman

Halfords chooses Gateshead College to launch new apprenticeship scheme

A vehicle servicing and repair firm has teamed up with Gateshead College to launch an apprenticeship programme in the North East.

Halfords Autocentres is rolling out a national apprenticeship programme with eight colleges around the UK to train future motor vehicle service and maintenance technicians.

It has chosen Gateshead College to deliver the training in this region.

The two-year apprenticeship - recognised by the Institute of the Motor Industry - will allow students to progress onto a Level 3 qualification that equips them with skills and knowledge of vehicle maintenance, diagnostics and hybrid technology.

Around 70 apprentices have enrolled onto the scheme, including eight in the North East where Gateshead College is delivering the training.

Dave Nichols, Halfords’ apprenticeship and trainee relationship advisor, said: “I started my career as apprentice and have worked my way up at Halfords Autocentres, so I can personally say that our apprenticeship programmes work.

“For this new programme, we’ll be training our apprentices to an industry-defined standard, ensuring we get the skills we need to make our business even more successful.”

Students will spend one day per week at the college’s Skills Academy for Automotive, Engineering, Manufacturing and Logistics and four days per week on the job at Halfords Autocentres around the North East.

In recent years, the company has expanded and now has more than 300 UK autocentres.

Ivan Jepson, director of business development at Gateshead College, added: “We’re thrilled to be working with Halfords Autocentres on the roll-out of their national programme.

“It provides a fantastic opportunity for young people in our region to gain new skills and start their careers with a leading organisation that really value apprenticeships.”

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