Motor vehicle students from South Tyneside Professional and Vocational College have been given firsthand insights into running a successful business in the sector.
A group of 22 students studying car body and paint courses at the college’s Motor Vehicle Centre in Jarrow enjoyed a two-hour visit to Benfield Ford’s new £5.8m outlet on Newcastle Road, Sunderland.
During their time with the firm, they received advice on apprenticeships, health and safety legislation and changes to recruitment processes.
They were also provided with an overview of sales targets, basic accounting and budgeting and watched a professional MOT being carried out.
The trip came about through a new partnership between the college and County-Durham-headquartered construction firm Esh Group, which has operations in the North East, Yorkshire, Cumbria and the Borders.
Esh has links with the college stemming from the maintenance and repair work its facilities management group carried out at the Westoe campus in South Shields.
The company, which built the Benfield Ford dealership, also works with other firms to improve communities through its Added Value programme.
Through this, it will likewise deliver life and employability skills sessions to students on topics such as CV writing, communication skills and accessing the jobs market.
Alison Maynard, principal of South Tyneside Professional and Vocational College, said: “The college has an excellent relationship with Esh Group – we share a mutual desire to benefit the communities in which we work. Esh Group’s expertise will benefit students in a number of ways, and this was clearly demonstrated by the key role its Added Value team played in the visit to Benfield.
“Our motor vehicle students saw all areas of how a major dealership operates and they gained a great deal of invaluable insight.”