What our apprentices say
Lewis Lloyd, 19 from Newport
Level 3 Vehicle Body Repair
Employer: BP Rolls
I started my training at Level 1 which I did full time in college and as part of the course I had the chance to do work experience at Magor Motors. I was really keen to impress and towards the end of the placement I took the opportunity to ask if they’d consider taking me on as an apprentice and they did.
Since then I’ve changed jobs and I’m completing my Apprenticeship with BP Rolls in Newport. So I spend four days a week at work, spraying and fixing commercial vehicles like trucks and buses, then go to college for one day a week to learn the theory behind my work.
I prefer being in a job to learning full time as I’m also getting paid – and when I turned 19 I got a pay increase which was an added bonus on my birthday!
I’d advise anyone looking for an Apprenticeship to make the most of any unpaid work experience they can get that’s relevant. It’s a great chance to learn more about the work you’re interested, get practical experience and get your foot in the door.
Jay Barrett, 17 from Chepstow
Level 2 Motor Vehicle
Employer: Forza GB
My Apprenticeship is a win-win opportunity for me and my employer – I’ve got a job where I’m getting practical skills, a qualification and my employer is training me in the skills they need, they have a qualified mechanic through cost effective training.
I absolutely love my job. I get to work on high end cars like Ferraris, Bentleys and Aston Martins – servicing them, replacing head gaskets and other technical work. And I really enjoy being in college where we learn about the theory behind the technical work – how the electrics work, how engines and transmission works – things like that.
I want to get qualified to Level 3 then hopefully I’ll stay at Forza GB for a few years. My longer term plan is to join the RAF or the Navy as an engineer which I’ve always wanted to do and I’m hoping my experience and qualifications as an apprentice will improve my chances of getting in.
Richard Wheeler, 35 from Newport
Qualified through an Apprenticeship at Coleg Gwent, now Coleg Gwent Motor Vehicle Lecturer
I originally went to sixth form and did leisure studies but after the first year I wasn’t enjoying it – it was pretty classroom based and I wanted to do something more practical. I’d just learnt to drive at the time and having had a few bumps I thought ‘wouldn’t it be great if I could fix my own car,’ so I enrolled on a full time motor vehicle course at City of Newport Campus.Three months in I did a work placement at Ford in Cwmbran. I worked my socks off and I must have made a good impression as they offered to take me on as an apprentice and it’s been a key part of getting my the job I’m in today – which I love.
Rich’s advice to those looking for an Apprenticeship:
The vehicle body repair industry is really competitive so you need to be willing to put the effort in – send CVs, knock doors, do unpaid work – anything to show you’re interested, enthusiastic and committed. You’re looking for employers to take you on like they would any staff so you need to show them you’ve got the right work ethic and a positive attitude.
Rich’s take on the benefits to employers of taking on apprentices:
I think there’s going to be a skills shortage in vehicle body repair in the future and taking on an apprentice is not only a cost effective of qualifying your workforce, but you can mould them with the skills you need for now and in the future.