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The British Department for International Trade (DIT) has presented its annual Board of Trade Award to Jaguar South Africa for its outstanding work in learning and development for the motor industry. 

The award, which was handed over at a ceremony attended by Theresa May this week by UK Minister of State for Trade Policy George Hollingbery, recognises Jaguar South Africa’s apprentice recruitment and training programme, and its successful addressing of the national shortage of qualified technicians who can work on today’s high-tech vehicles. 

George Hollingbery, International Trade Minister, said: 

“Jaguar South Africa is a great example of a company promoting excellence in business and is therefore the perfect recipient of the first international Board of Trade Award, striving to meet the modern needs of business. 

“Driving innovation, this award recognises the excellent work undertaken by the company as it looks to the future, training the next generation of skilled technicians through its state of the art apprentice and training programme.”

Since 2015 Jaguar South Africa has inducted 62 apprentices into its training programme, and 14 recruits from the first intake in 2015 went on to qualify as technicians and were absorbed into the Jaguar retailer network. At total of 48 apprentices recruited in 2016 and 2017 are currently enrolled in the programme and are expected to graduate in 2019 and 2020 respectively. 

The apprentices are sourced through a series of Recruitment Roadshows that visit schools across the country to create awareness for soon-to-be graduates on career opportunities in the motor industry. Applicants are required to have successfully completed matric with maths and science. 

Each accepted apprentice works under the supervision of a mentor technician at various Jaguar retailers nationwide. Every apprentice is employed by Jaguar and receives a salary for the duration of the three-year programme. Students 

Complete both the formally-recognised merSETA qualification as well as the Jaguar Apprentice Learner Journey, which is a more extensive curriculum and prepares the young future technicians for the most advanced technologies in modern vehicles. 

Jaguar South Africa’s objective with the training programme is to continuously foster the next-generation of world-class technicians, which will in turn help ensure customer peace of mind when vehicles are in for services or repairs at its network of state-of-the-art workshop facilities. 

Richard Gouverneur, Managing Director of Jaguar South Africa and sub-Sahara Africa said: 

“We are delighted that the British Department for International Trade has recognised our apprentice training programme. Developing technical skills in the motor industry is a responsibility Jaguar takes very seriously and while we are all honoured to accept this award, watching our young apprentices grow into qualified technicians is reward enough.” 

The Board of Trade Awards are internationally recognised and awarded annually to businesses it feels deserve special recognition for their role within respective communities. Jaguar South Africa’s commendation is the first time the DIT has given the award outside of the UK. Award recipients are nominated and selected by Civil Servants from the British Department for International Trade. 

The Department for International Trade works with thousands of businesses and celebrates those which show exceptional innovation and deliver prosperity to their local communities.