Young people are being offered the chance to secure a dream job with James Bond’s favourite car-maker after Aston Martin announced it is expanding its apprenticeship programme.
The Warwickshire-based sports car-maker has revealed plans to create an additional ten apprenticeships as part of its Second Century Plan for global growth and development, which was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
The firm – which currently employs almost 40 young apprentices across a wide variety of functions at its factory and global headquarters at Gaydon - has now launched a recruitment drive to fill the new roles.
The apprentices selected will join the business on a four-year fixed contract to learn their trade in one of several areas - paint, trim, maintenance, control engineering and robotics, or manufacturing engineering.
Candidates for the roles must be aged 16 to 18 and have five GCSE passes (or equivalent) at grade C or above, including maths, English and at least one science.
They will also need to demonstrate an interest in the automotive sector through their previous work experience, hobbies or school project work and be able to show a commitment to teamwork along with academic aptitude, ambition and a passion for the motor industry.
Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer unveiled the car-maker’s Second Century Plan earlier this year as part of a drive to quadruple production by the luxury car-maker.
Mr Palmer outlined a three-pronged strategy and said growth would come from a crossover vehicle, wider availability of the Lagonda Taraf luxury saloon and a new generation of sportscars.
Last year Aston Martin sold 4,000 cars, almost half of its record-breaking total of 7,300 in 2007, but plans to increase that to 16,000.
Geneva saw the unveiling of Aston Martin’s DBX crossover concept, demonstrating the firm’s plans to follow in the footsteps of both Bentley and Rolls Royce in response to soaring demand for luxury SUVs.
Its entry into the luxury crossover segment could deliver sales of up to 5,000 for Aston Martin, according to Mr Palmer, with the £600,000 Lagonda Taraf accounting for as many as 4,000.
As part of its growth plans the firm hopes to see annual sales of 7,000 sportscars, capping it at that level to retain the brand’s exclusivity.
Speaking about the new apprenticeship roles, Mr Palmer, who is himself a former engineering apprentice, said: “As a strong advocate of apprenticeships – I started my automotive career in just such a role – I’m very happy that we are able to offer more young people this valuable opportunity.
“The success of the Second Century Plan for enhanced global growth of the Aston Martin brand and significant expansion of our exciting product portfolio is, clearly, fundamental to this business but, through initiatives such as this, it is also clearly bringing real, long-term, benefits to a number of young people.”
Aston Martin learning & development manager Karen Botting added: “The company’s ongoing commitment to growth through its Second Century Plan means we must constantly assess our skills balance and staffing needs.
“It is vital that we are able to transfer the extensive skills and knowledge of our workforce to a new generation, in order to ensure the continuity of our developing business.”