An insight into the Vehicle Technician Apprenticeship

National Apprenticeship Week is upon us. This annual celebration recognises the impact of apprenticeships on individuals, employers and the economy. 

Last year we won the ‘Commitment to Training’ award from Trafford College, one of the training providers for our apprentice technicians. Since then, we’ve employed two new apprentices at John Delany Motors and what better time than National Apprenticeship Week to introduce them.

Both George and Charlie are currently studying their ‘Motor Vehicle Apprenticeship’ course at Stockport College. As part of this course, they undergo workplace training with John Delany Motors. We sat down with them to discuss their paths to apprenticeships and how they are progressing.

Left: George, Right: Charlie

You’re both currently on different routes on your apprenticeships, explain how it works.
George: I’m on level 1 of my apprenticeship. I go into college one day a week, the rest of my working week is spent at John Delany Motors.
Charlie: I’m on level 2 and I’m also completing my English GCSE so I’m in college for 4 mornings and one full day a week. I do one full day at the garage.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship over other ways of learning?
George: I didn’t like school, I didn’t enjoy sitting there and listening. I’d rather be active and an apprenticeship is a different way of learning. I wanted to do what my dad was doing, building trailers, but I thought mechanics was a good thing to go in to.
Charlie: I’m a fidgeter, I can’t really sit still. It gets to the point where I feel like I have to get up, move about and do stuff. Obviously doing an apprenticeship you’re learning on the job so it’s more hands on. 

What made you want to become a vehicle technician?
George: Its a job which is always going to be needed, a mechanic. It’s something good to get into.
Charlie: I started looking at mechanics cause my grandad was a mechanic. I’ve always been interested in cars. Mainly from films and I’ve grown to appreciate them more. I did my work experience at John Delany Motors and luckily started working here.

You’ve both taken different routes into your apprenticeships, how did you come about it? What was the process like?
George: I applied for quite a few different jobs straight out of high school. Dan that works at John Delany Motors told me about the apprenticeship position here and said that I could get an interview. I wasn’t on the course beforehand, I came straight in to a placement then signed up for my apprenticeship from here.
Charlie: I did a weeks work experience at John Delany Motors last August. I came back a couple of times and Anthony told me there was an opening for an apprenticeship and started me off on a Saturday job. 

Describe a typical working day…
George: Get straight into whatever is ready. Brakes, tyres, servicing. It’s definfitely a lot faster paced at the garage, especially if you’ve got a few jobs on. At college I do 3 hours theory in the morning in the classroom and 3 hours in the workshop. I prefer the workshop.
Charlie: Do a couple of tyre jobs, help the other lads out, see who’s busy, who I can help, who I can do a service for, who I can do tyres for. Have lunch… and do more work.
At college the pace is much slower, it doesn’t matter if I make mistakes so I feel like I can just dive in on jobs and feel a bit more relaxed there. Whereas at the garage it’s a lot quicker paced.

Are you both at the same stage in your apprenticeships?
George: Charlie is doing full-time college so he’s more advanced knowledge-wise whereas I have more hands-on time at the garage.
Charlie: I’m technically in my first year at college but on my level 2 of the course. I was doing level 2 tasks on my breaks so my tutor put me forward a year. Being at the garage I’ve picked up stuff as well and that’s given me the edge.

So you’re both studying at Stockport college, do you see much of each other?
George: Not at college, we make up for it at work.
Charlie: I’m in work on George’s day at college so we dont see each other. When I was on my first week I saw him for a two-minute chat in the lift but that’s it. Lunch is a set time at college so if we were there on the same day I’m sure we’d see each other on lunch.

Is it what you expected?
George: Its different to what I thought, I thought it’d be much quieter in the workshop and more laid back. The apprenticeship is what I expected though.
Charlie: I think to an extent, I’ve got an older brother and I’d seen him going to college. I thought it looks a bit hard but he was doing 3 subjects whereas I’m only doing 1. When I started listening in college and picking up more that when it all took off. I had a bit of knowledge from working at the garage so college was just consolidating my knowledge making me learn quicker.

What sort of jobs are your favourite?
George: Probably servicing, it’s more enjoyable cause it’s not just one thing.
Charlie: Servicing and brakes, nice jobs.

What are your plans for when your apprenticeship is complete?
George: Stay here, work and do further training. 
Charlie: Stay at John Delany Motors, do my Bosch training and in a few years time get a doctorate. That would make me over the moon. I kind of want to have my own garage, my own place where I can learn further.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting an apprenticeship?
George: You should deifnitly do it! It’s much better than college.
Charlie: Go for it! You’re learning while you’re on the job so it’s easier to understand.

Over the next few days we’ll be delving deeper into life as an apprentice at John Delany Motors. Charlie & George are taking over out social media on Friday! Give us a follow to keep up to date.