On The Rise: Young Apprenticeship

The young apprenticeship in the motor industry is an exciting opportunity aimed at talented 14- to 16-year-olds who want to get directly involved with the world of cars, trucks and motorbikes. It gives you the chance to learn in practical settings, such as a college or motor vehicle training centre, and gain experience of working in a dealership or garage.
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The Independent Online

The majority of your time will be spent in school, following the core National Curriculum, and for approximately two days a week you will work towards nationally recognised level-two vocational qualifications, delivered through a local Young Apprenticeship Partnership. The hands-on experience includes up to 50 days in the workplace spread across the two-year programme.

Alex Morley, 16, is one student who has taken up this exciting opportunity, and he is now on the road to his dream of becoming a fully qualified technician. "I have always wanted to be a technician, so much so that when I had the chance to join Paragon-ITE Training as a Young Apprentice, I missed my school sports day to come in and be assessed."

Alex's training at Paragon-ITE Training meant that he was well prepared when he started his work placement at Pentagon Mercedes in Fareham. "As the course went on I began to see that what I was learning could be used at the garage, and I became more confident and able to solve the problems I was faced with. Each time I work at the garage there are new challenges, but my supervisor is always on hand to suggest possible solutions and we work together to get the vehicles back on the road.

"I have been assisting with MOTs, refitting brakes and suspension systems, and using diagnostic equipment to check exhaust emissions. Some of them are more than 32 tonnes, so the work is quite hard at times."

Alex achieved highly commended status as a runner up at this year's prestigious Young Apprentice of the Year award. He was one of 1,143 young people nationally to be nominated for the award, and attended an awards ceremony at the London Hilton Hotel in June.

The award is open to young people on the programme. They must show that they have made the most of their time on the programme and made considerable progress both personally and in their studies.

Alex said: "I am so pleased to have reached the finals. Last year, I was awarded the Class Achievement Award and feel that I have come a long way since I started. Achieving runner-up means a lot to me because it is such a great recognition for something that I really enjoy."

After completing his GCSEs this summer, Alex has started working full-time at Pentagon Mercedes Fareham as an Advanced Apprentice and hopes one day to run his own business. Many successfully people who now run important businesses started their working lives as apprentices, learning their technical skills and developing their business expertise.

Looking ahead, a Young Apprenticeship will give you a flying start to your career if you decide to join the motor industry at 16-years-old, but there is no obligation. If you want to continue in education, maybe going on to do A-levels or moving on to higher education to do an HNC or HND, you can always switch your career choice later and apply for an Advanced Apprenticeship in the motor industry, with the possibility of progressing to a foundation degree.

To find out how you, like Alex, can get involved in a Young Apprenticeship in the motor industry visit www.automotiveskills.org.uk/ya