waddington marissa

Leasing company Zenith has hired 100% of its interns into permanent roles during a record year for its apprenticeship scheme as the business moves to address the automotive industry’s skills shortage.

The move comes as the UK's Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders warns more than 50,000 skilled jobs in the motor industry must be created to stop Britain 'falling off a cliff edge' after Brexit, with 5,000 unfilled vacancies by 2020.

Zenith has grown from eight employees at launch 25 years ago to more than 650 today as one of the country’s biggest leasing firms.

It launched its long-running apprentice programme to ensure a pipeline of talent for the company and works with schools and colleges to inspire students into a career in the fleet industry.

Marisa Waddington, HR director at Zenith, said: “Our apprenticeship programme aims to educate and inspire young people to support them into the fleet industry.

“Apprentices also take part in group work, away from the desk, to develop skills in line with company values.

“We set out with a target of retaining all of our apprentices, which after our first eight months, we are proud to have achieved.”

Zenith is shortlisted as a regional finalist in this year’s UK National Apprenticeship Awards, which recognise excellent businesses that grow their own talent and apprentices who have made a significant contribution to their workplaces