Ryder, a leading independent provider of commercial vehicle rental, contract hire, and maintenance services in the UK, launched its National Apprentice Programme in 1994 and since then has employed 245 apprentices. On average, Ryder receives 160 applications for the 10-12 apprentice vacancies it has each year across its 21 service locations.
Key to the success of Ryder’s apprenticeship programme is the pastoral care and support given to apprentices, with each one assigned a one-to-one mentor for three years to coach and support their development.
Ryder’s apprentices undertake the IMI Certificate in Heavy Vehicle Maintenance and Repair and assist qualified technicians in the preventative maintenance and repair of Ryder’s commercial vehicle fleet. They attend Stephenson College in Coalville, Leicestershire, on a block-release basis, with those who perform well having the opportunity to continue their training on Level 4 Diploma or Level 4 HNC courses. Ryder offers a generous reward scheme for those that stay for the long-term.
Ryder was shortlisted for Apprenticeship of the Year at the Motor Transport Awards 2018, and won Large Employer of the Year at the Asian Apprenticeship Awards 2017.
Catherine Steel, Human Resources Director at Ryder, says:
“I have a real soft spot for our Apprenticeship Programme. Back in 1994 when we started out, apprenticeships had a very poor image. The scheme was redeveloped in 2004 to become a professional National Trainee Programme to give our Technicians the best career start with Ryder. Then in 2012, we partnered with Stephenson College with a clear focus on continuous improvement and lifelong learning. Today, the Ryder Apprenticeship Programme is a professional, award-winning scheme that has transformed the careers of our young Technicians and the business as a whole.”
Asked how Ryder’s Apprenticeship Programme has helped his life and career, Josh Cuerden, Mobile Maintenance Technician and 2016 Graduate comments:
“It set me up as a young man. It was my first full-time job; it gave me the responsibility of having a wage and encouraged me to move out and get my HGV licence. Without a shadow of a doubt, I’d recommend an apprenticeship.”
For Harry Cornwall, Systems Engineer based in Ryder’s Birmingham Head Office, one of the best things about being an Apprentice Technician was gaining valuable people skills.
“As an apprentice, you have to learn how to deal with different people in different ways. This helped me a lot during my time as a Supervisor when I was managing people. Doing my apprenticeship gave me the first piece of exposure to working with a variety of personalities.”
Harry graduated in 2015.
Nathan Groves, Technician at Ryder’s Heathrow location, and another 2015 Graduate, summarises just how important Apprentice Technicians are to Ryder:
“They’re really important, you can see it here at Heathrow. They become the people our customers rely on – they make a difference. It’s definitely been a reliable source of talented Technicians here in Heathrow.”
David Hunt, Vice-President and Managing Director of Ryder, summarises:
“Our Apprenticeship Programme is as important as ever 25 years since its inception, and we are very proud of all of our Graduates. We are emotionally invested in our Apprentices and Technicians, striving to give them the problem-solving skills and the resilience to build a successful career with Ryder for the long term. As the transport sector faces its biggest challenges to address vehicle emissions and clean air, attracting and retaining high quality Apprentice Technicians positively contributes to the increasingly complex needs of our customer base.”