Apprenticeship: Fact vs. fiction

An apprenticeship in the motor industry can put you on the road to a huge range of exciting careers.

Times are changing in the wide world of Apprenticeships. Contrary to popular myth, the brightest students are needed on these programmes, where a wide range of skills and qualifications are needed. IT and customer skills, science, manual dexterity, the ability to analyse – all should be in an apprentice technician’s toolbox.

An apprenticeship involves two or three years of on-the-job training and study, and if you’re aged 16 to 18 it is fully funded. Even up to the age of 24 there is likely to be some funding, depending on where you live. “We need young men and women with a wide range of skills for our programmes these days,” says Bill Jeffries, head of the National Learning Centre at Citroën UK. “People skills are every bit as important as technical ability, and you’ll need drive and enthusiasm to get on. Once you’ve completed it, opportunities for progression in the motor industry are fantastic.”



Entry routes

One route to an Apprenticeship is to apply to an employer directly, describing what you are good at and how you would be an asset to their business if given the chance to go through an Apprenticeship programme. Remember to research their business as you need to illustrate that you know your stuff and good first impressions are vital – you’re not likely to be the only applicant.

Alternatively, you could approach a local college or motor industry training provider directly (many manufacturers run their own programmes). This route could include employment or a work placement, depending on whether your local employers are recruiting. Some providers offer full-time programmes, but you will be responsible for finding work when the programme ends.



What does it involve?

Termed “Apprenticeships” and “Advanced Apprenticeships” in England, and “Modern Apprenticeships” in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, programmes can vary in content as well as title. What is true for all of them is that once your work placement is finalised you should agree your individual training plan with your employer and learning provider.

You will be spending most of your time with your employer or on work placement – as many s five days a week – developing your technical knowledge and the skills you need in the motor industry. You will also spend time with your earning provider; either the manufacturer, local training provider or local college.

Your time there could be organised in a regular pattern – spending time on the programme every Wednesday, for example – as a “block release” of up to two weeks at a time, or a combination of both. Pay varies by employer, but is generally in the region of £6,000 to £8,000 per annum. Once you are qualified you employer may take you on permanently, and offer you a healthy salary increase at the same time.

Specialist areas

You can choose from a range of specialist Apprenticeships in the retail motor industry. There’s something for everyone whether you like working with parts, electronics, paint or people – you name it.

Vehicle fitting

Tyres, exhausts, brakes, batteries – they all wear out at some point and it’s a specialist job to replace them in doublequick time.

Vehicle maintenance and repair

Every vehicle needs to be maintained regularly and, of course, they also break down and need repairing quickly and to a high standard. Once qualified, you’ll be able to specialise in cars, motorbikes, trucks, auto-electrics, diagnostics – even the glamorous world of motorsport!

Vehicle body and paint operations

Thousands of cars, motorbikes and vans are involved in scrapes every day of the week. Working in vehicle-body repair and refinishing involves removing dents, and restoring the paintwork, as well as repairing the affected electrical and mechanical parts.

Vehicle parts

There are lots of people who love vehicles but who don’t necessarily feel they would enjoy the hands-on aspects. Vehicle parts operatives play a vital role in ensuring that technicians have the components they need to maintain and repair vehicles, using sophisticated computer systems and often working to tight deadlines.

Roadside assistance and recovery

A key role is played by technicians whose job it is to go out on the road and fix a vehicle that has broken down, or to recover it by taking the vehicle and its passengers to their destination. You’ll need to show excellent customer service skills, so if you’re good with people – as well as mechanically minded – there could be a future for you here.

Vehicle sales

For most people, buying a vehicle is the second most expensive purchase they make after a home – that’s why it’s important they make the right choice. The salesperson’s job is to help the customer make a decision that they will be satisfied with for the duration of the vehicle’s lifetime. That way they’ll come back again!

More information

General

Automotive careers website

Advice on all aspects of motor industry careers and links to nationwide Apprenticeship programmes www.automotiveskills.org.uk/careers

Monster

Advice and apprentice job search from the well-known employment site http://apprentice.monster.co.uk

The Apprenticeship Guide

A comprehensive source of information on Apprenticeships www.apprenticeshipguide.co.uk

Specific providers

Citroën Apprenticeships

Apply online and find your nearest dealership www.citroenapprenticeships.com

Honda Apprenticeships

Current vacancies and useful links www.hondapeople.co.uk/apprentice

National centres

England

www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Northern Ireland

www.careersserviceni.com

Scotland

www.modernapprenticeships.com

Wales

www.careerswales.com

News
Pro-Russia rebels guard a train containing the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crash in Torez, Ukraine
i100
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
theatre
News
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Damon Albarn is starting work on a new West End musical
artsStar's 'leftfield experimental opera' is turning mainstream
Life and Style
Paul and his father
artsPaul Carter wants to play his own father in the film of his memoirs
Sport
Ben Stokes trudges off after his latest batting failure for England as Ishant Sharma celebrates one of his seven wickets
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
Members of the public are invited to submit their 'sexcapades' to Russell T Davies' new series Tofu
tv
News
Sky's Colin Brazier rummages through an MH17 victim's belongings live on air
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
arts + ents'The Imitation Game' stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley
Extras
indybest
News
i100... and no one notices
Arts and Entertainment
Friends reunited: Julian Ovenden, Richard Cant and Matt Bardock in rehearsals for the Donmar revival of 'My Night
with Reg'
theatrePoignancy of Kevin Elyot's play being revived just after his death
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Year 5/6 Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The successful applicant w...

Year 5/6 Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The JobThe successful ...

Salesforce Recruitment Consultant (Perm/Contracts)

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Social Housing Recruitment Consultant (Perm/Contracts)

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor