Over half a century after its initial assembly, a 1965 Bentley T-Series has returned to the company’s headquarters in Crewe to be restored by Bentley apprentices to its original factory specification. The renovation project forms a key part of the Bentley apprenticeship learning programme.
The new apprentices will complete and assemble the trim section and restore the car’s body, paint and engine, putting into practice the modern skills they will gain during their apprenticeship while becoming familiar with traditional techniques. Post completion, the classic car will join Bentley’s celebrated heritage fleet where it will attend car events across the world. Commenting on Bentley’s commitment to skills development, Marlies Rogait, Bentley’s Member of the Board for Human Resources, says: “Bentley’s apprenticeship scheme offers a solid foundation to enable our trainees to learn and grow. Working on one of the most iconic Bentleys from our illustrious past is a truly unique experience, and one which will enhance their skills and knowledge and help them become experts in their chosen field.”
The Bentley T-Series – which the manufacturing apprentices will work on – was assembled between the years of 1965 and 1970, and featured the first monocoque chassis seen in a Bentley. In this five-year period, 1004 T-Series models were produced. With a maximum speed of 115mph and capable of achieving 0-62mph in 10.9 seconds, it contained an early version of the 6¾ litre V8 engine found in Bentley’s present day flagship; the Mulsanne.
Bentley Master Trainer, Colin Jackson, who is leading the project, said: “This is something everyone involved in can feel very proud of. Having the opportunity to bring back to life such an iconic Bentley doesn’t happen very often. The challenge of restoring this car means that our apprentices will develop the traditional skills that Bentley is so famous for, and sets them up for their careers building Bentleys of the future.”
Over half of the new intake of apprentices (19) are undertaking a three-year manufacturing apprenticeship programme. The curriculum is designed and delivered by Bentley Master Trainers, during which apprentices will develop skills in areas such as coach trimming, wood, paint, mechatronics and production maintenance as well as developing know-how in production technologies of the future.
The apprenticeship scheme has been running for more than 40 years and offers an invaluable way of gaining nationally recognised academic and vocational qualifications, while undertaking tailored development at Bentley. The other 17 apprentices will be based in business areas at Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe, including Engineering, Sales and Marketing, Purchasing and Human Resources.
In addition to the 36 new apprentices Bentley has also recently welcomed 40 undergraduates and next month 23 graduates will join the business. Last month Bentley received a Princess Royal Training Award in recognition of their outstanding training and skills development programmes.
To further enhance the company’s future investment in its employees and the community, Bentley is also playing a pivotal role in supporting the recently opened University Technical College in Crewe. The new school which will focus on Engineering and Design, will provide an aspirational learning environment, incorporating the latest technology and equipment to give students a head start within industry and academia.
For more information: www.bentley.co.uk