On 19th September 2017, Snows proudly hosted our Apprentice Academy Graduation Day at the home of British motoring.
This was the first Graduation Day that Snows have organised, and was a fantastic opportunity for us to celebrate and congratulate the hard work and achievements of our seven impressive apprentices in customer service excellence.
Aged 17 to 20, the youngsters were the first intake at an inaugural training academy launched by Snows in southern England. Their achievements were celebrated in a presentation ceremony held at the world-famous National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in the New Forest, Hampshire.
The Snows Academy ‘Class of 2016’ were put through their showroom paces at our dealerships based in and around Southampton, Winchester, Plymouth and Exeter.
They are Aidan Baker, 20, of Snows Toyota Exeter/Lexus Exeter; Jack Bristow, 17, of Snows Volvo Winchester; Ben Edwards, 17, of Snows Volvo Southampton; David Hawes, 17, of Snows Toyota Southampton; Richard Jarrett, 19, of Snows Toyota Exeter/Lexus Exeter; Jacob Muldoon, 18, of Snows Toyota Plymouth and Danielle Weeks, 18, of Lexus Hedge End.
Our Apprentices were taught about the paramount importance of customer service as well as vehicle sales and parts in a detailed scheme through Learning Skills Partnership, a specialist training provider that has worked with Snows for around 18 months. The Directors and brothers, Mike Alsop and Simon Alsop attended the graduation day, along with Dylan Hopper (Accounts Manager) who can be seen pictured on the far left. Mike gave a touching speech about the group of apprentices, describing their journey with Learning Skills Partnership and how they have truly made the LSP team proud.
Danielle Weeks from Lexus Hedge End was particularly successful at the ceremony, as she not only collected her first year certificate but was also awarded with 'Apprentice of the Year' by LSP director Mike Alsop. This is a highly respectable title as Danielle was selected out of over 500 candidates due to her initiative, attitude and consistently excellent service within her job role.
Phil Maddison, a group director at Snows, which employs nearly 800 people across 35 dealerships selling 18 brands, praised the apprentices.
He told guests: “To be stood here at the home of motoring, celebrating the efforts of these extraordinary seven graduates, feels incredibly special and marks the beginning of a wonderful new chapter in the history of the Snows.
“It also reflects the pioneering spirit that our founder Geoff Snow, who sadly passed away a few weeks ago, believed in when he founded the group over 55 years ago.
“This industry has a wonderful heritage and provides keen and enthusiastic individuals with a wide and diverse range of opportunities.
“As an industry that is always looking to the future in terms of technology, safety and customer satisfaction we as a group also need to look to the future – specifically to identify where our future talent and hopefully leaders are coming from.
“Snows believes passionately in promoting from within. Employees who have grown with the business already understand our goals and actively promote the belief that the customer comes first, so why would we want to look elsewhere?
“It’s always been relatively easy to attract technical apprentices. However, the routes into customer-facing roles within sales and service may not have been as visible to young people with an interest in our industry.
“We needed to make Snows an attractive and viable career choice for school and college leavers where they could see progression and opportunity if they worked hard.”
Sam Cheesman, human resources manager for the group, helped formulate the Snows Academy concept in partnership with LSP. Hull-based LSP was co-founded by Mike Alsop in 2010 to create new entry routes for talented apprentices in the automotive industry which had not previously existed away from the technical aspects.
He told guests: “From our first mission talks two years ago, to programme development, it quickly became apparent that Snows was not your average business.
“Snows had the clear foresight and vision about building tomorrow today. The programme was designed with the wellbeing, development, job roles and future career progression of the apprentices always in the forefront of Snows’ mind and that of LSP.”
He added: “During our recent Ofsted inspection, Snows was identified as a leading apprenticeship employer, which is no mean feat in this industry to achieve.”
A new cohort of students is currently being selected for the second intake at Snows Academy. To ringing applause at the venue, Sam highlighted the standout qualities of each graduate.
All the Apprentices have proved themselves and shown amazing strengths throughout their year of customer facing roles within Service and Sales at our dealerships. There is so much promise for these fantastic young employees, and Snows look forward to seeing where their ambitions take them in the future. We hope to see them grow within Snows and continue to build the reputation and spirit of our company.
Snows has 35 dealerships across the South of England, stretching from Plymouth to Newbury, and including the Isle of Wight. The Group prides itself on its reputation and dedication to delivering excellent customer service, and is rewarded by the fact that over half of its business comes from returning customers. With Snows, driving becomes an experience, rather than a chore.
Author: Sophie Taylor
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Posted on 20/09/2017