A LARGE motor group is expanding its apprenticeship training programme with more staff.

Vantage Motor Group has hired nine new apprentice motor vehicle technicians at its Toyota dealerships in Blackburn, Colne, Knaresborough, Morecambe, Preston, Tamworth and York.

The company will be paying the new recruits higher than average pay and benefits package and will be given a snap-on tool box.

The three year vocational programme will see the apprentices undertake a number of residential training sessions at manufacturing academies and will be supported in the work place by a mentor.

Vantage Motor Group managing director Mark Robinson said: “By providing these opportunities for young people Vantage is helping to develop the next generation of talent within our industry.

“We are particularly pleased to welcome Cece Hirst to our Toyota dealership in Colne in what is a small, but significant step in helping to bring more women into a traditionally male career. 

“The nine apprentices we take on this year will be the first in a programme which we hope to grow further over the next few years.”

The announcement of these new appointments comes amidst news of a decline in the overall number of apprenticeships being offered in the UK.

This follows a government levy introduced in an effort to increase the number of people taking up apprenticeships.

Cece Hirst, apprentice technician at the motor group, said: “I am really looking forward to working for a great brand like Toyota and particularly for Vantage Motor Group. 

“I have always wanted to be a Vehicle Technician and have been around cars all my life.

“My dad is a mechanic and was always working on a vehicle of some sort when I was young and I used to really enjoy helping him and learning how to repair things that were broken. 

“The apprenticeship training programme will enable me to learn on-the-job with the added benefit of professional training with Toyota.

“I am really excited about the opportunity.”