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Mercedes-Benz dealer apprentice stars of the future win F1 work experience prize

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Two apprentices have completed a week of work experience with the Mercedes Formula 1 team after winning prestigious accolades.

Jack Cawood, of Northside Truck & Van, (pictured left) landed the Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicle Parts Apprentice of the Year award, while Sparshatt Truck & Van’s Sidney Randall (pictured right) took the Technician Apprentice honours. The two were chosen from shortlists of three for each job category, on the basis of their positive attitudes and behaviours, as well as their performances in online tests and practical assignments.

As a result they had the opportunity to work and learn at the Brackley headquarters of the F1 World Champions, in the run-up to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The pair were presented with their trophies by David Joyce, Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Director, Customer Services & Operations, and Sam Whittaker, Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK Director, Customer Service & Operations.

All six finalists and their guests enjoyed a day at the Mercedes-Benz World brand experience centre in Brooklands, Surrey. Whittaker said: “All of our finalists are right up there with the very best apprentices in the automotive industry. They have demonstrated exceptional levels of engagement and commitment to learning, while their drive to succeed is truly impressive.”

The Mercedes-Benz Apprenticeship Academy has trained 3,500 young parts specialists and technicians since its inception in 1995, of whom 65% are still working within its dealer and retailer networks. This year’s winners were chosen from the 688 apprentices who are currently on its apprenticeship programme.

In addition to on-the-job learning at their dealerships, apprentices undertake block release study at the Mercedes-Benz Apprenticeship Academy in Milton Keynes. Whittaker added: “Staff take great pride in not only providing them (the apprentices) with the product knowledge and practical skills they will need to excel in their roles, but also in supporting them with exemplary pastoral care.”

Cawood said: “This is so much more than just another job. I have an opportunity to build a long-term career here, and I’m determined to make the most of it.” Randall added: “The training and support we receive from Mercedes-Benz is fantastic.”