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Electric vehicle apprenticeship launched

Electric van and truck specialist Smith Electric Vehicles has launched the UK’s first apprenticeship dedicated to electric vehicles.

The Smith Electric Vehicles Apprenticeship Programme based in North East England, is a partnership with Gateshead College. The four year scheme is a mixture of classroom learning and workplace training, with an option to continue onto a two year Foundation Degree.

Geoff Allison, managing director of Smith Electric Vehicles, said: “If Britain is going to become a world-leader in the production of electric vehicles, we have to start training the next workforce generation now.”

“Smith Electric Vehicles has always invested in apprentices, but we are particularly proud to be leading the way in the development of the specialised skills our young people will need in the low carbon economy.”

Smith has recently produced all-electric vehicle mounted boom lifts in the UK, Netherlands and USA, working with Altec, Versalift and Custers Hydraulica.

As part of the programme, Smith is donating electric commercial vehicle chassis and components to Gateshead College worth in excess of £100,000. The company will also provide a full-time mentor on site at its headquarters in Washington, Tyne & Wear.

Smith expects to take on six apprentices in 2010. Entry criteria include Maths GCSE at A* - B grade, plus grades A* - C in English, a Science and at least one other GCSE. Applicants will also undergo psychometric testing.

Smith Electric Vehicles is holding an open morning for prospective candidates at its Vigo Centre facility in Birtley Road, Washington, on Tuesday, June 22nd, 9am-noon. For further details, or to book a place at the open day, please contact Cathy Homer, HR Officer, on 0191 461 6807 or email

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The Smith Electric Vehicles production line in Washington, UK.


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