7:00pm Monday 2nd April 2012
By Andrew Ffrench
MOTORSPORT firm Prodrive is looking for new apprentices, and the race for a place will be as competitive as the cars it builds.
The Oxfordshire firm, which is set to move to new, larger premises, wants five apprentices.
Competition for places,which start in September, is set to be fierce, with the company receiving more than 1,500 applications in a typical year.
Prodrive apprentice supervisor Rob Alderman said: “We get interest from all over the country, but we would certainly like to see more applications from the local area.
“With the apprentices splitting their time between our headquarters in Banbury and Oxford & Cherwell Valley College (OCVC) in Bicester, it is more practical if they already live in the locality.”
Once the shortlist is produced by the college and the firm, successful applicants are invited for a full day of assessment, covering theoretical and practical skills.
Paul Hamlin of OCVC said: “Candidates may be asked to assemble part of a gearbox or work as a team to solve a particular problem.
“Prodrive is looking for those who can think on their feet, have the raw, practical skills but most importantly the right attitude and a willingness to learn.”
Once the apprentices have completed their advanced apprenticeships, some go on to study for higher qualifications.
Former apprentice Chris Martin, said: “When I joined Prodrive 10 years ago as an apprentice, I was only 16 and never imagined that one day I would have a HND and be a design engineer helping design parts for the Mini World Rally Car.
“I have now moved into our automotive technology division and am expanding my skills by working on a range of projects for future road cars.”
OCVC works with Oxford Brookes University to offer a foundation degree in motorsport.
Prodrive currently has 12 apprentices studying for an advanced apprenticeship in engineering motorsport and, once completed, they will go on to work in a range of departments and projects including the Mini World Rally Car.
Prodrive employs more than 400 workers in Banbury and this could grow to 700 in the next two years once its relocation to the former Hella lighting factory in Noral Way is complete.
* Anyone interested in the Prodrive scheme should email Sue Young at email@example.com
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