The start of the new school term also hailed a whole new beginning for Liebherr’s latest intake of 5 apprentices, ranging from school leavers aged 16 to ex-servicemen aged 28. Ordinarily, Liebherr would have been a significant presence at the career’s fairs in schools and colleges in the environs of their Biggleswade HQ and is regularly invited to showcase its extraordinarily successful apprenticeship scheme and all that it has to offer young people. This year however, for obvious reasons, recruitment had been driven directly from the Liebherr Job Portal and the interview process carried out entirely online. The vast majority of the apprentices stay on at Liebherr for many years beyond their original contract and forge successful careers at the company. Liebherr is one of the exceptions in the manufacturing industry who have pressed on with the scheme despite the challenges presented by Covid-19 and are in fact, looking to expand their UK recruitment drive in 2021.
Apprentices are taken on in Construction Equipment Maintenance Engineering, Welding/Fabrication, Paintshop and Business Support. Training includes a solid grounding in the technical aspects of their chosen apprenticeship with the necessary support to develop skills to some of the highest levels in the industry. Nationwide travel between Liebherr’s operational facilities, exchange programmes and training at manufacturing facilities Europe-wide are also a vital part of the scheme. All apprentices are assigned a dedicated mentor always there to lend an ear and to identify ongoing development needs. Additionally, apprentices all attend a local college on a part-time basis which lead towards their NVQ qualification.
The long running Liebherr National Apprentice Scheme can boast countless success stories: a Truck Mixer Workshop Apprentice has been promoted to ‘Tech Desk’ Product Support Engineer 4 years after joining the company; another has gone from Business Apprentice to Sales and Service Coordinator in Concrete Technologies whilst another is now a Credit Controller. A Welding Apprentice is now a Workshop Engineer in Mobile Cranes and then a number of the Workshop Engineers have progressed through to being Workshop Engineers in various departments. One has even been promoted to Workshop Supervisor after completing his apprenticeship only 3 years ago.
“Liebherr rightly view their apprentices as a key element of their annual recruitment drive and take the responsibility of moulding these young people’s careers very seriously. We also continue to be longstanding and proud sponsors of the Construction Plant-Hire Association’s Stars of the Future Awards which recognise and reward outstanding apprentices and trainees who not only bring ability and commitment to their learning and their work, but also possess those extra capabilities which mark them out as future leaders.”Tony Gribble, General Manager Aftersales