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Bentley recruits future generation of experts
Bentley Motors has welcomed its new intake of apprentices, undergraduates and graduates to its 4,000-strong workforce as the company prepares to celebrate its centenary year.
The 83 new recruits cover commercial areas such as sales and marketing, communications, people and digital, finance and purchasing, as well as engineering and manufacturing departments.
Dr. Astrid Fontaine, Member of the Board for People, Digitalisation and IT at Bentley Motors, said: “As we reflect and celebrate the significant achievements of this company over the past 100 years, it is more important than ever to look ahead and prepare for the next chapter. This starts with recruiting the next generation, our experts of tomorrow, who we welcome and join an already highly-skilled, motivated and passionate workforce.”
Out of the 83 new recruits, 40 apprentices start training at the company’s headquarters in Crewe, bringing the current number of apprentices to almost 140.
Half of the apprentice intake will follow a three or three and a half-year Advanced Apprenticeship programme while the rest will study for a Higher or Degree Level Apprenticeship. This includes three former students of the Crewe Engineering and Design University Technical College (UTC), of which Bentley is a supporting partner.
Paige Leeke, one of the former UTC students and now an Advanced Apprentice in Manufacturing, said: “I am really excited about starting my career and I can’t think of a better place than Bentley Motors. I was lucky enough to work on Bentley projects as part of the UTC curriculum and that experience pushed me to apply for Bentley’s Apprenticeship programme. I look forward to putting my academic knowledge into practice and working on some amazing cars.”
Twelve graduates will follow a two-year development programme which will see them working on key business projects that will serve as starting blocks for successful business and engineering careers.
The undergraduate scheme, with 31 new recruits, offers a 12-month development programme focused on degree students looking to complete a year out as part of their studies.
Bentley’s history of apprenticeships
Reinforcing Bentley’s long association with apprentices, the company’s founder, W.O. Bentley himself left school in 1905 at the age of 16 to start work as an Apprentice Engineer with the Great Northern Railway. In 1919, he founded Bentley Motors in Cricklewood, north of London starting a legacy of inspiring great people to design and build cars for its discerning customers.
One of the apprentices that W.O. Bentley recruited to his Cricklewood workshop in the early 1920s was Freddie Richmond, the 9th Duke of Richmond, who in 1929 went on to start his own motor racing career.
This level of commitment and recognition to apprenticeships continues to the present day, with the company this year named as the UK’s Best Employer for School Leavers and Top Employer in the Automotive Industry by the School Leavers awards.