At Ford Motor Company Ltd (Ford) we want to find the right people for the right jobs. That means recruiting people who have the appropriate skills and qualities to perform the job effectively, no matter what their background.
The Apprentice selection process has been designed to let you show us that you have the necessary skills to be able to carry out the role to a high standard.
We will now go through each stage of the assessment process suggesting tips throughout.
Online Application Form
You will be asked to complete the online application form. Included in this are some questions to help you to consider if you are likely to enjoy the role of an Advanced Apprentice or Higher Apprentice at Ford. You will also need to complete some short competency based questions. Here you can give details of relevant work experience, qualifications and/or training you have done or are about to complete and describe any relevant personal skills or other relevant experience. At the end of this stage of the process, we will either invite you to an assessment centre or inform you that your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.
The application form enables you to tell us more about yourself, your experiences and how these are relevant to your application. Candidates are encouraged to complete the application form online. Paper versions are available on request from us by calling 01923 216173. There are several sections in the application form. Please complete these in full, giving the details required in each box. You should read the instructions carefully at the start of the Application Form fully before attempting to complete it.
There are several sections in the application form:
Main Details section:
In this section we need some personal details so that we can contact you.
Education & Qualifications section:
This section asks about your education at school or college. In the table you should give the name of the schools/colleges/higher education establishments you have attended.
Please complete this section with all exams you have taken or will be taking. Make sure you include any GCSEs, A Levels, NVQs, City & Guilds qualifications and the grades you obtained, or your predicted grades if you have not yet taken your exams. The minimum qualifications required for entry are:
For Advanced Apprentices we look for applicants who have or are predicted to gain at least 3 good GCSE grades (or their equivalent) including English at grade C or above, Maths at grade B or above and Physics or Double Science at Grade C or above
For Higher Apprentices in Engineering we look for applicants who have a minimum of 5 GCSE’s (or equivalent) at Grade B or above to include Maths, English and Double Science and have, or are predicted to gain, 3 A Levels or equivalent at grades B or above to include Maths, Physics and one other Science/Engineering or technology subject.
For Higher Apprentices in Information Technology we look for applicants who have a minimum of 5 GCSEs at Grade B or above including Maths, English and Double Science and have or are predicted to gain, 3 A Levels (or equivalent) at Grade B, one to include a STEM related subject.
For Higher Apprentices in Finance we look for applicants who have a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade B or above (or equivalent) including Maths and English and have or are predicted to gain 3 A levels (or equivalent) at Grade B, one in a mathematical subject preferred.
You must bring copies of your achievements /qualifications to the assessment centre. Failure to do so could result in you being withdrawn from the process.
In this section, you are asked for more detailed information of your skills and experience in relation to job relevant criteria. We are looking for you to provide examples of when you have shown the skills and qualities necessary to be an effective Advanced/Higher Apprentice.
Please try to write clearly and give as much relevant information as possible to all the questions. Try to describe the situations briefly, and then go on to explain what you did, and what the outcome was. We are looking for recent examples from your work/school/college/voluntary/other activities that show you have the necessary skills and qualities to be effective in the role. It may take some time to think of relevant examples, so please feel free to print off the questions and make some notes before going back to the online form to enter and save the information.
Tips for choosing examples to write about:
Choose recent examples
- Be specific – describe exactly what you did or said
- Talk about your contribution (not what other people have done)
- Give examples of the skills that you demonstrated in the particular situation
- You can choose examples from work / college / voluntary work / out of work activities.
Trade Preferences (Advanced Apprenticeships only)
Here are some examples of the types of trades available. The trade discipline you follow will depend on the recruiting areas requirements.
Toolmaker – As the name implies this is the trade of somebody that makes tools and equipment. However, in Ford this can expand also to include the making of experimental parts for production, research components and plant equipment. A Toolmaker typically uses metal working machines like Lathes, Mills, Grinders, Guillotines etc. to produce items to drawing specifications, meeting the quality required (within tolerance) and on time.
A toolmaker at Dunton would typically be placed in one of 2 locations:
Main Tool room, a Toolmaker would manufacture small or large batches of experimental parts to be used of parts of vehicles to be tested.
Materials laboratory a Toolmaker would be prepare tooling to test other materials that are to be used on vehicles, or to prepare samples of already tested parts for microscopic examination.
Whichever area a Toolmaker is placed in it is a highly skilled position often requiring working to very high tolerances, using a range of equipment including computer controlled machinery too.
Electro Mechanical Craftsperson (Mech/Elec)
Mech/Elec – Again as the title implies this role has involvement in both mechanical & electrical engineering.
Within Dunton Mech/Elec trades persons could be in various roles, some of which follow:
Dyno Maintenance, where equipment used for the testing of engines is supported. This could be anything from fitting new parts i.e. motors, valves etc. to plumbing.
Estate maintenance, where skilled people are required to maintain parts of the infrastructure of the plant where the testing takes place. This could involve a myriad of different tasks from refurbishing or installing new plumbing systems, air conditioning systems, water treatment, fabricating steel work, etc.
Rig shop, this is where components are tested on specialised test rigs (mainly suspension and braking components). Mech/Elec personnel support this testing creating new hydraulic, pneumatic rigs to recreate component failures similar to that, that would be expected on a vehicle in use.
Vehicle Prototype Mechanic
Vehicle Prototype Mechanics can be placed in a number of places within Dunton that have responsibility for testing either individual vehicle components or full vehicle systems.
Fleet workshop, this is where experimental parts are fitted to vehicles for test. Vehicle Prototype Mechanics in this area could have either electrical or mechanical bias.
Dyno’s, this area is where experimental engines are tested in specialised testing cells where the vehicle prototype mechanic is responsible for following the testing procedure and identifying any issues/breakdowns that arise and using their training assist with resolving.
Emissions Laboratory, Vehicle Prototype mechanics in this area are responsible for ascertaining the total emissions output of vehicles. Testing of a vehicle on a rolling road to precise specifications.
Environmental Test Laboratory, is where vehicles are tested in certain environmental conditions, this could include temperature, humidity and altitude.
Online Functional Skills
Advanced and Higher Apprentice candidates will need to complete some short functional skills diagnostic assessments in English, Maths and ICT. Functional skills (Essential Key skills in Wales) are a compulsory element within an Apprenticeship framework and are vital skills for Apprentices in life, learning and work. You will be taken through a series of assessments that will identify your general working level whilst taking into account your personal spiky profile. An in depth diagnostics assessment will identify your individual strengths and provide you with an Individual Skills Plan (ISP) to strengthen identified areas.
Assessment Centre Interview
At the assessment centre you will have an interview that lasts for 60 minutes and is designed to assess the following competencies:
- Conscientious approach
- Drive and Initiative
- Communication and Interpersonal skills
- Openness and Willingness to Learn
- Personal Development
- Customer Focus
You will also be assessed on your interest for the function you have applied to.
Before interviewing for a position with Ford, you should be familiar with our products and know the current developments within the industry. It is also advisable to have an understanding of the Company’s history: you can obtain this information from the industrial press and our Company website
The structure of the interview
You will be asked for some background information about yourself and our interviewers will do their best to make you feel relaxed.
You will be asked questions about things you have experienced, so you will need to think about recent examples from your work/college/school/other activities.
- Take time in the interview to choose an appropriate example
- If you do not understand the question, do not be afraid to ask the interviewers to rephrase or clarify
- Make sure you answer the question asked
- If you are not sure how much detail to go into, ask the interviewers how much information they want
You will be given the opportunity at the end of the interview to ask any questions. If you want more information about the nature of the apprenticeship, pay and conditions etc. you can ask at the end of the interview.
Preparing for the interview
Having to attend an interview often makes many people nervous. We will do our best to help you to relax. The interview is an opportunity for you to show us that you have the right qualities and skills for the role of an Apprenticeship with Ford.
Before the interview itself, read through the relevant competencies again, and the examples you gave on your application form. Prepare yourself by thinking of additional examples or situations when you have shown these behaviours in the past. Be prepared to clearly describe the situation; your role; your actions; the outcome; and any learning you gained.
The most important word
When describing team working situations, remember to maintain the focus on YOU and what YOU did. Remember to say 'I' to distinguish your input from the acts of the team. Above all, be yourself, and relax.
The Assessment Centre Exercises
During the assessment centre you will also be asked to take part in several exercises. These are designed to assess the skills, qualities and behaviours that are necessary for effective performance as an Apprentice. The exercises are designed to be similar to activities that you will be expected to carry out in the role of an Apprentice at Ford.
You will be provided with full information about the exercises on the day and you do not need to prepare any information in advance. It is important to listen carefully to the instructions provided on the day, so you ensure you are clear about what you are being asked to do. If you are unclear at any stage, make sure you ask any questions before the exercise starts.
You will be also asked to take part in some aptitude (or psychometric) tests These are short, timed tests which measure your numerical and literacy abilities and general aptitude.
Why Ford uses Aptitude tests
- Aptitude tests help us make accurate predictions about whether a person has potential to succeed in a job with Ford. These tests help us to make sure that you have the right level of numeracy and literacy skills needed for the Apprentice programme, as there is a strong maths and English requirement.
- We have found that people who do well in the tests tend to perform well in their job at Ford.
Aptitude tests for Advanced Apprentices
- Practice - Should you be invited to an Assessment Centre you will receive a Practice Questions leaflet, which will show you the type of questions you will have to complete in the tests. This leaflet also gives more information about the test itself, and gives you some sample questions to try. Have a go at the questions at home and look up the answers at the back of the leaflet to see how you have done. Many people get nervous when sitting tests, but being prepared may help you control nerves.
- Ask Questions - During the testing session you will be given further instructions about what to do. Listen very carefully, and if there is anything you do not understand, make sure you ask before the test starts. Once the test has started, your questions cannot be answered
- Pace Yourself - During the test make sure you know how much time you have so that you can pace yourself.
- Concentrate - Work as quickly and accurately as you can and try to focus on each question.
Aptitude tests for Higher Apprentices
Should you be successful and progress to stage 2 of the recruitment process you will be invited to complete some online SHL aptitude tests; Verify Verbal Reasoning, Verify Numerical Processing and for Engineering Highers only Verify Mechanical Comprehension as well.
Practice - Before you begin your online aptitude tests, try your hand at some practice questions. We use SHL as our test provider and you can visit their site for information on practice tests:
For more advice and assessment tips for the psychometric tests, please use the SHL link below:
We hope this has given you a clearer idea of what to expect at each stage of the selection process. Feedback on your performance at the assessment centre will be available once final selection decisions have been reached.
It is the policy of Ford to ensure decisions are made objectively and fairly. Final hiring decisions will be made using all of the information we have gathered during the selection process. This ensures that we recruit people with the right skills and qualities no matter what their background.
We want to thank you for showing your interest in Ford and hope that this information will help you do your best during the selection procedure.