Automotive Manufacturing in the UK has grown to a 17 year high and one of the best routes in is through an apprenticeship. With university tuition fees at an all-time high, more and more people are choosing to learn through an apprenticeship and, as an expanding business, CM Specialist vehicles is supporting the trend. Working with The Skills Company we currently have 3 apprentices learning their trade as Auto Electricians; so we sat down for a chat to get their thoughts on apprenticeships.
They say it’s a man’s world, and that’s certainly how it often appears in a male dominated, vehicle manufacturing industry, but that hasn’t stopped Chelsea, aged 17, from forging ahead. Already 12 months into her apprenticeship, Chelsea told us she is thriving in this challenging but supportive atmosphere.
“I never wanted to sit in an office, I like doing something different. I’d definitely recommend this course to other people, especially women.”
And though it can be tough sometimes, especially going from a school day to a full working day, Chelsea thinks it’s worth it for the sense of achievement:
“I have a mentor who is really supportive and you can learn a lot from each person who works here. When you learn to do something independently it feels good and you just keep growing in confidence.”
When we asked Chelsea, what we could be doing to encourage more women into the industry she said
“Put me on the website!”
…So here you are Chelsea.
The majority of young people say that the greatest obstacle in finding work is not having enough experience, and an apprenticeship provides that vital experience as you learn…and get paid! Max has also been with us for 12 months and is on a three year course to become a qualified Auto Electrician.
“I always wanted to do something with electrics, my Grandad used to teach me and I want to have my own business like he did.”
At CM Specialist Vehicles we provide a broad portfolio of services across the private and public sector, so there is always something new to learn.
“We get to work on a variety of vehicles and that broadens our knowledge… Split chargers were the hardest thing to learn so far but I really like the independence and being trusted with a job.”
For younger people entering the workplace, it can be daunting and even a little intimidating, especially for an apprentice who is usually just 16. In our company we have a high retention rate and the country as a whole has an aging population of people who work for longer, so how have our apprentices handled the pressure with such an age gap? Dave has completed his first year with us and is working towards his Level 3 as an Auto Electrician:
“I’ve always been interested in cars and liked fixing things so the course is perfect for me. The hardest part was meeting everyone and it was intimidating at first because they’re old and have loads of experience. But I settled in really quickly and you can learn from everyone here, not just your mentor.”
Learning through an apprenticeship can be one of the most impactful choices you can make for your future, it can be a platform to propel you to heights you might never have expected. So, where do our apprentices see themselves in 5 years time???
Chelsea: “Fully Qualified. I want to go as far as I can!”
Max: “I’d like to move up, maybe I’ll be a mentor for apprentices in the future.”
Dave: “Here! I can see how my career can progress here. I don’t know any other companies that do this course, but this was definitely the best choice for me.”
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