Thurlow Nunn Search for a Star Apprenticeship Recruitment Programme 2017/18


In August 2017, Thurlow Nunn appointed Gaia Innovation to develop a ‘tailor-made’ programme to discover their new stars of the future through a comprehensive apprenticeship recruitment programme.  

Gaia Innovation tailored its Search for a Star Apprenticeship Recruitment Programme in order to facilitate the recruitment requirements of Thurlow Nunn.  In addition to their need to recruit both vehicle technician and customer facing apprentices, Thurlow Nunn liked the Search for a Star programme because it provided much more… by enhancing  their corporate social responsibility philosophy and developing relationships within their communities.



13 schools from across 4 areas were visited to promote Thurlow Nunn and the Search for a Star programme talking to circa 1432 school students. Information on the programme was electronically sent to an additional 69 secondary schools throughout Thurlow Nunn’s AOPR areas reaching circa 9407 parents.

The results shown below represent data collected from each point throughout the programme:

Dealership Open Evening

In total 76 students from 29 local secondary schools attended one of four evening events at the Vauxhall sites; with 100% of students wishing to progress to the next stage.

The students rated this part of the programme 4.8/5.0 stars.

Results also show that 100% of students parents,

  • gained a better understanding of the training and apprenticeships on offer
  • were impressed with the level of training provided
  • felt comfortable with the support and guidance given by the Thurlow Nunn team.

The parents rated the open evenings 4.9/5.0 stars.

Employability Skills and Selection Days

The Employability Skills and Selection Days were an opportunity for applicants to develop interviewing techniques, in order to excel in an informal interview with Gaia personnel and the Thurlow Nunn interview team, 45 students attended these sessions and the successful applicants were taken through to the next stage.

The students rated the content of the days as follows:

  • Employability Skills session 2.95/3.0 stars.
  • Interview technique session 2.85/3.0 stars.
  • 100% agreed with the statement that the skills developed in the day would help them in the future.

Work Experience

39 students being offered a week-long work experience.

At the end of the work placements students completed an online survey asking for feedback on their experience of the week, the results of this are presented below.

100% of students reported that the work placement had inspired them to pursue a career in the automotive industry.
When questioned ‘Which skills and behaviours have you developed during your work experience placement?:
•    85% stated they had developed their Communication Skills
•    74% Teamwork
•    67% Organisational Skills
•    78% Initiative / Ability to Work Independently
•    85% Technical Skills
•    52% Good Work Ethic
•    59% Commercial Awareness

Job Offers – The Shining Stars

In total 13 young people were offered an apprenticeship to start September 2018 and 1 direct hire, across 6 Thurlow Nunn Vauxhall dealerships.



The survey results show that the programme was a success with both students and parents being very impressed with the level of engagement and quality of the apprenticeships on offer. All elements of the programme were rated highly and comments made extremely positive and encouraging.

The target of appointing eight new apprentices was exceeded, with 13 students recruited onto the apprenticeship programme and 1 direct hire.


Student Quotes

Harry Taylor Apprentice Aftersales Advisor- Milton Keynes

“ I found the process extremely smooth from start to finish, I had been looking for an apprenticeship and received a blanket email from my careers advisor in school about the dealership event; I found this very informative and wished to pursue it from then on. I love cars, however would have really struggled with the interview had it not been for the STAR technique training, which allowed me to feel a lot more confident in the interview as a result.

I felt really reassured particularly by the contact by email, phone and text from Gaia all the way though. I don’t feel that the process could be improved, through the timing of the stages was great as it didn’t interfere with school.”

Faith Hunt Apprentice Vehicle Technician- Milton Keynes

“I heard about the dealership event through my cousin who had a presentation at her school- I was at college and didn’t hear anything through my career advisors, I was then studying engineering at college but didn’t know which area I was interested in particularly.  

I loved the dealership event and meeting all the staff,  I felt very welcome. The star technique helped my confidence greatly and allowed me to perform better. I wasn’t sure whether I would enjoy it, however the support throughout made me want to go continue to the next stages.

I am absolutely thrilled at my success as a Vehicle Technician.”

Dylan Patrick Apprentice Vehicle Technician- Luton

“I am very thankful that Gaia Innovation presented at my school- the information I received from the session was great and inspired me to try the programme. It’s pure luck that Gaia visited my school- without this I don’t know what I would be doing.

The dealership event opened my eyes up to working for a large company, I felt very welcomed and loved speaking to a wide range of staff, who were so friendly. I thank Gaia for the opportunity, guidance and support all the way through.”

“I would like to thank you and Gaia innovation for this amazing opportunity to pursue my dream and all your help along the way. I would also like to thank Nicola for her help throughout these stages and any other participant’s.”