The German company - whose divisions include concrete technology, mining and earthmoving - says that ordinarily it would have been a significant presence showcasing its apprenticeship scheme at career’s fairs in schools and colleges near its UK HQ in Biggleswade, Bedforshire.
This year however, for obvious reasons, recruitment had been driven directly from the Liebherr Job Portal and the interview process carried out entirely online. Liebherr says the vast majority of its apprentices stay on at the company for many years beyond their original contract and forge successful careers there.
Liebherr adds that it 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 its 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 industry skills to high levels.
Nationwide travel between Liebherr’s operational facilities, exchange programmes and training at manufacturing facilities Europe-wide are also an integral part of the scheme. All apprentices are assigned a dedicated mentor 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 has a range of success stories: a truck mixer workshop apprentice has been promoted to ‘tech desk’ product support engineer four years after joining the company; another has gone from business apprentice to sales and service coordinator in concrete technologies, and another is now a credit controller.
A welding apprentice is now a workshop engineer in mobile cranes, while a number of the workshop engineers have progressed through to being workshop engineers in various departments. One has been promoted to workshop supervisor after completing his apprenticeship only three years ago.
Tony Gribble, general manager aftersales of Liebherr GB, comments: "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.”