Luke Wallis

Dealer Contact Manager – Mercedes-Benz Financial Services

Luke works with BCU apprentices and sees the positive impact they have on his team and business by bringing in new ideas, reverse mentoring and contributing to the future of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.

“At Mercedes-Benz Financial Services (MBFS), we employ around 10 apprentices that rotate around the company during their three years with us. This allows the apprentices to try out roles within a number of divisions such as Customer Operations, Credit Risk, Sales and Marketing and IT. For six months, the apprentices become a part of the team that I manage as one of their rotations.

I also support our apprentice programme as a business sponsor; this involves everything from being involved in the recruitment to supporting the cohorts throughout their 3 years and beyond. I’m also part of the team that support people leaders across the business, these are the people that manage our apprentices. I ensure that they are able to offer the apprentices a consistent level of support and knowledge to maintain successful outcomes.

We see apprenticeships as a learning experience for our employees at MBFS as well as for the apprentices that join us. We encourage reverse mentoring to ensure we tap into our apprentices and keep our finger on the pulse. An influx of young, ambitious and enthusiastic employees is something to nurture and gives existing managers an opportunity that might not have been available without the apprentice programme.

The enthusiasm and new perspectives that the apprentices bring to our business is invaluable. I feel that they add an additional layer to the business and bring in new ideas and questions. I’ve seen some wonderful successes come from our apprentice programme.

Each apprentice has the opportunity within the team they are currently placed to suggest improvements on process and system. I’ve seen developments in the way MBFS manages returning vehicles to how we train and develop our new starters, all of which the apprentice has played a central role in developing and delivering.

We have worked very hard with BCU to build on and improve the relationship over the years. It’s important to ensure that communication is consistent so we can continue providing this invaluable opportunity that allows the apprentices to see and experience the corporate environment, whilst studying for their degree.

MBFS apprentices usually want to remain within the company and we work with them to secure a permanent role. However, we also have apprentices that move within the Mercedes-Benz companies such as the Mercedes-Benz Cars or even securing a role within a Mercedes-Benz Showroom. Their hands-on experience helps them move forward in their career and make an impact on the future of the company.

The apprentices are a privilege to have and I’d recommend it to any business.”