Motoring Insight Magazine Online

Prime Minister David Cameron visits Mercedes academy to mark start of National Apprentice Week

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Published: 11 March 2013


Young apprentices at the Mercedes-Benz Apprentice Academy were delighted to welcome Prime Minister David Cameron to join their activities this morning, as part of a visit to mark the start of National Apprentice Week.

The £2.1 million, purpose-built facility at Mercedes-Benz’s UK headquarters at Tongwell in Milton Keynes provides industry-leading training for young people to become Mercedes-Benz qualified technicians and parts advisors.

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David Cameron shakes hands with Marcus Breitschwerdt, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz UK.

During the visit Mr Cameron was introduced to groups of apprentices working on Mercedes-Benz cars, vans and trucks and heard first-hand about the benefits of being part of the apprenticeship programme, which leads to nationally-recognised NVQ and VRQ qualifications.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I was delighted to visit the Mercedes-Benz Apprentice Academy today to see the excellent facilities, and to meet so many hard working and highly skilled apprentices. Apprenticeships are at the heart of our mission to rebuild the economy, giving young people the chance to learn a trade and create a truly world class workforce that can compete and thrive in the global race."

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David Cameron's visit reinforces his support for more apprenticeships in high-technology companies.

Since opening in 1995, 1,148 apprentices have graduated from the Mercedes-Benz Apprentice Academy, with 60 per cent of those who graduated still working within the brand 10 years later.

In 2012, 159 apprentices joined the Mercedes-Benz Apprentice Programme, selected from a total of 11,500 applications, representing a rise of 30 per cent.  Those joining in 2012 started on a three-year programme – at the end of which they will aim to achieve Level Three nationally-recognised VCQ and VRQ qualifications.

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Marcus Breitschwerdt, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz UK said:  “We were honoured and delighted that the Prime Minister asked to visit our Apprentice Academy.

“Our Apprentice Academy is a fantastic example of how Mercedes-Benz UK is making a long-term investment in people and helping talented young people to find their vocation.

“The Mercedes-Benz brand makes a significant contribution to the UK’s economic, engineering, technology, business and cultural landscape, and secures UK-wide employment across a range of disciplines, including youth development through our apprenticeship scheme.”

The Apprentice Academy is just one exciting part of a thriving and highly innovative network of Mercedes-Benz businesses in close proximity to its Milton Keynes headquarters - from Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth, responsible for designing and building the engines powering Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the Australian Grand Prix this weekend to MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One in Brackley, where the team is based.


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