Case Studies

There’s never been a better time to embark on an apprenticeship. It’s a direct route into your dream job and you learn the ropes by doing the job you love.

Lee Rossiter - Former Parts Operative Apprentice

Lee was an apprentice with S&B Automotive Academy from 2007-2010 and completed an intermediate and advanced Vehicle Parts Operative apprenticeship.

Aged 16, Lee secured himself a placement with SJ Curtis which kick started his training as a Vehicle Parts Operative. Lee attended S&B Automotive Academy on one week block release over three years and gained vital skills and experience which he was then able to put into practice with his employer.

How was your experience on your apprenticeship?

I found the experience very positive and benefited me in many ways. It enabled me to gain a full-time job with my apprenticeship placement at SJ Curtis. –Lee Rossiter

How have you progressed since your apprenticeship?

I am now the Parts Manager at Wessex Nissan’s new Patchway showroom. My positive experience as an apprentice at S&B Automotive Academy has brought me full circle. I have now offered a Parts Apprenticeship to our new apprentice Tom Dean. –Lee Rossiter

Confidence in delivery of training

Lee is confident that S&B Automotive Academy will meet his expectations in the delivery of training to his newly appointed parts apprentice. Lee is hopeful that the benefits and positive experience gained during his apprenticeship will be passed onto his current and future apprentices.

Ben Cranefield - 3rd Year

Where did you see the apprenticeship advertised?

I didn’t I was told about the opportunity by an employee of PCL.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

So I could learn a trade and get the training and skills that an apprenticeship gives.

Can you describe a ‘typical day’ as an apprentice at MAN Truck & Bus?

Not really a typical day you never know what the foreman is going to get you to do you could be working with one of the Tech’s or doing a job on your own.

Is the apprenticeship what you expected?

Yes, and more.

What’s been the most rewarding part of your apprenticeship so far?

Gaining skills and learning new things.

Do you have any advice for future Apprentices?

Don’t be put off by the apprentice starting wage as you get on it’s worth it in the end.

How has your apprenticeship benefited you?

It has given me a trade and a larger understanding of the Motor Trade.

What are your future plans?

To stay with MAN and maybe one day work aboard with the skills I have learnt.

Would you recommend apprenticeships to others?

Yes, it definitely is the road to go down if you want to learn a trade properly.

Bradley Powers - 3rd Year

Where did you see the apprenticeship advertised?

Off the Government website.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

To learn new skills from qualified Tech’s in a working workshop whilst getting paid.

Can you describe a ‘typical day’ as an apprentice at MAN Truck & Bus?

No typical day at work you could be doing anything from changing a bulb to doing a full service on a vehicle.

Is the apprenticeship what you expected?

Yes.

What’s been the most rewarding part of your apprenticeship so far?

Gaining the knowledge and skills in the HGV sector.

Do you have any advice for future Apprentices?

Yes, work hard and focus towards achieving your qualifications.

How has your apprenticeship benefited you?

Has given me the opportunity to learn new skills within the work place and dealing with the customer.

What are your future plans?

To one day travel and hopefully work aboard.

Would you recommend apprenticeships to others?

Yes, so you can learn a trade while getting paid.

Frank Cassar - 3rd Year

Where did you see the apprenticeship advertised?

I contacted Swindon directly asking about Apprenticeships

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

It gives me a work / study balance.

I find I learn more by doing and seeing the things with the written info to back it up.

Allows flexibility in the learner.

Can you describe a ‘typical day’ as an apprentice at MAN Truck & Bus?

No one day is the same different workloads and people to learn from which allows you to build up a wide range of skills.

Is the apprenticeship what you expected?

I didn’t know what to expect I came in with an open mind and attitude, I found that being flexibility with a keen attitude to learn and trying new things meant I could make the most of my time at work and college.

What’s been the most rewarding part of your apprenticeship so far?

The satisfaction of being able to see/find the fault and get it resolved i.e. thinking outside the box.

Do you have any advice for future Apprentices?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions that’s how you learn.

How has your apprenticeship BENEFITED you?

My skill set has grown dramatically not only in the mechanical side but also in how the Dealership works. Every action has a reaction throughout the business from when the vehicle first arrives to fitting the part to returning the part to the invoicing it’s good to know/learn all parts of the business.

What are your future plans?

To further broaden my skill set both in and out of the workshop, an apprenticeship doesn’t have to stop after 3 years there are many other skills to learn which allow you to grow as an individual.

Would you recommend apprenticeships to others?

Yes, it’s a good way to learn a skill without an information overload MAN & S&B are very supportive of all apprentice on the scheme.

Jake Hicks - 3rd Year

Where did you see the apprenticeship advertised?

I went around all the local Dealers handing in my CV I was lucky to get an interview with PCL.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

I felt it would give me the best start to a career as I could learn hands on in the workshop as well as at college rather than sitting in a class room all day so a good split between the two.

Can you describe a ‘typical day’ as an apprentice at MAN Truck & Bus?

I would never say there is a typical day here at PCL everyday holds/has something different and mostly interesting to do and learn, no two days are the same.

Is the apprenticeship what you expected?

The apprenticeship is more than I expected PCL and MAN have given me a great opportunity to learn a trade and also get involved in other activities as in my trip to Wales which was very good for learning key skill and team building.

What’s been the most rewarding part of your apprenticeship so far?

The most rewarding part of my apprenticeship so far would have to be the opportunity it has given me to meet and work with the people I do.

Do you have any advice for future Apprentices?

My advice would be work hard keep your head down and make the most of the opportunity you have been given.

How has your apprenticeship BENEFITED you?

The benefit to me has been able to learn a skill/career that I enjoy.

What are your future plans?

It’s a bit early to say but I would like to be on the M24 breakdown van one day and maybe one day go further afield and work on the MAN army vehicles aboard.

Would you recommend apprenticeships to others?

Yes, I would recommend anyone to do an apprenticeship because of the skills you gain.

Kyle Mcloughlin

Where did you originally see the apprenticeship advertised?

I applied to S&B Automotive Academy for a Vehicle Parts apprenticeship in my local area with Platinum Motor Group, they set up an interview and the rest, as they say, is history.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship was the best way forward for me as I have always enjoyed hands on jobs and I find that I learn best while I am away from a classroom. So the opportunity to learn a valuable set of skills whilst being paid to do was a no-brainer.

Can you describe a ‘typical day’ as an apprentice?

For me being an apprentice wasn’t just emptying bins and cleaning the floor all day every day. Working within a busy parts department meant that I really needed to hit the ground running so I had quite a steep learning curve almost immediately. A typical day for me consisted of sorting the delivery into customer orders and stock. Once all the customer orders were picked it was then onto loading the vans, I learnt some valuable abbreviations while at college that really helped with this task such as L.I.F.O – Last in first out. After vans were loaded and drivers were on the road it was time to settle into some customer orders, either via fax from body shops or phone calls from trade customers. These could take most of the day if it was busy but if it was quite then I made myself busy with emptying the bins, cleaning the floors and general housekeeping tasks. Towards the end of the day, any orders from the day were picked ready to be delivered the next day and the building locked up.

Is the apprenticeship what you expected?

Having done some research into apprenticeships while still at school I felt fairly confident I knew what I was getting myself into. Most apprenticeships, if not all, run a college based learning segment to your learning. When I first joined my apprenticeship I thought it may be on day release once a week but luckily for me it wasn’t. I found the week long college sessions to be brilliantly helpful and they also helped to build a better bond with the other students on my course.

What’s been the most rewarding part of your apprenticeship?

I feel that my apprenticeship has really boosted me and my employability as I actually have a qualification behind me, something that not many people within a parts department have. I have since moved on to work for Aston Martin and I do not think that I would be running the parts department at an Aston Martin Dealership had it not been for my apprenticeship.

Do you have any advice for future Apprentices?

I would urge people to opt for apprenticeships over university studies because you are guaranteed to have a job while you train and once you have completed the qualification you will also have both the skills and experience. This experience will give you a massive boost over anyone else who just has the qualification.

How has your apprenticeship benefitted you?

My apprenticeship has, I’m sure, made me a more desirable candidate in the eyes of an employer. Simply because I have had experience working within a busy parts department and I have the qualification to back my experience up.

What are your future plans?

As it stands, I am very happy running the parts department at Aston Martin Bristol by myself but when the time comes I would like to be promoted to parts manager and manage a small team.

Would you recommend apprenticeships to others?

Absolutely, if there is an apprenticeship available in a field of work that takes your fancy then jump at the opportunity. It will be the best move you ever make.