GRADUATION day came for more than 200 automotive apprentices this month (November), and the Volkswagen Group's newly qualified employees celebrated with a special driving day at Northamptonshire's Rockingham circuit.

To say thank you for their hard work, the company gave the graduates a chance to test drive up to 50 models from the Volkswagen Group, including a selection of high-power supercars, including the Lamborghini Gallardo, Porsche 911 and Audi R8.

The participants, who have recently completed the Volkswagon Group three-year apprentice programme, got behind the wheel of a range of models from Audi, Seat, Skoda, Volkswagen and Bentley on the technical National Circuit before experiencing five different race cars on the UK's only banked Oval Circuit including race-prepared Sciroccos and Golf GTIs.

Away from the track the Group provided 12 off-road cars such as Audi Q5 and Q7, and Volkswagen Touaregs to drive on Rockingham's 4x4 off-road course and Wet Grip Area, complete with kick-plate.

Chief Executive of Rockingham, Peter Hardman said: "Supporting the next generation of the automotive industry is vital. The Volkswagen Group Apprentice Event is an excellent example of engaging employees and demonstrating why they should be proud of the company they work for.

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"Rockingham was able to accommodate all the different activities the Volkswagen Group wanted to put on for their participants, and we've worked hard to ensure a very successful event."

Organised by event agency RacingLine, the day was rounded off with an awards presentation in Rockingham's conference facility, the Welcome Centre, presented by Volkswagen Group Managing Director, Paul Wilcox.

Sam Roach, Managing Director of RacingLine said: "This is the third year running we have worked with Rockingham to host the Volkswagen Group Graduation and once again it has proven to be a highly memorable day.

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"We always have so many activities going on simultaneously during the day including the awards ceremony in the evening, and for this Rockingham is the perfect venue not least due to its excellent events teams and the versatility of its facilities."

Source: Volkswagen