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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Guru Careers: Graduate Marketing Executive / Marketing Assistant

£18 - 23k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Marketing Executive / Assistant is n...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Trainee

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider to the fa...

Ashdown Group: Graduate IT Analyst - Global ERP Implementation - London

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful & reputable global business is l...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most