SsangYong Motors UK has announced its inaugural apprenticeship programme for Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Technicians.

Recognised by the IMI, the programme has been designed to maximise on-the-job training while minimising time away from the dealership.

It will be run by a fully qualified team and provide training on the latest vehicles, specialist tools, industry technologies, diagnostic equipment, IT systems and customer handling techniques.

The programme is three years long and includes eight, one-week long modules per year at the SsangYong Academy in Nottingham.

As well as containing information on training and assessment, all apprenticeship standards must contain an End-Point Assessment where an independent organisation is involved – this ensures all apprentices following the same standard are assessed consistently.

Doug Lincoln, aftersales director of SsangYong Motors UK, said: “We’re delighted to launch our very first apprenticeship programme and we are firmly committed to developing future talent at SsangYong.

“We want to attract enthusiastic individuals into the industry who can help ease the shortage of skilled staff and provide technical expertise to support our expanding dealer network.

“A total of fourteen SsangYong franchised dealers have signed up to the programme so far.”

The IMI recently welcomed the news that apprenticeships are seeing growth for the first time since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy.

The Levy, which came into force in 2017, is a tax on employers used to fund apprenticeship training. Employers with an annual bill of over £3m are taxed at a rate of 0.5%.

Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI said:  “The latest figures on apprenticeship starts are welcome news, albeit the numbers are still significantly lower than those achieved before the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced.

“At the IMI we firmly believe that businesses need as much support as possible in order to understand how to they can best use the training funds to which they’re entitled. And we have been offering free expert advice to businesses in the automotive sector to help them understand how they can invest their Levy or co-investment, using this to enhance the skillset within their business.”

This article was originally published on the Motor Trader website, you can read it here.