David Jones, 18, is currently studying an apprenticeship in Motor Vehicle at G&S Motor Services in Stafford.
Q. Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
A. I always knew from a young age that I wanted to work with cars, so I chose to study an Apprenticeship because for me personally, I thought it would be better to earn and learn at the same time. Being in the workplace for 4 days a week has allowed me to learn more about the industry and what goes on behind the scenes than I thought I would in the classroom.
Q. What does your typical day in the workplace include?
A. A typical day includes completing interim and full services on cars, as well as general oil and filter changes. Whatever is found on the general inspection after the service is complete, I will take the lead on upgrading or changing the necessary parts. This could include changing the brake pads or discs, changing light bulbs, updating the suspension, that kind of thing. No two days are the same which is what I love.
Q. What skills have you developed during your apprenticeship?
A. Through the course my communication and teamwork skills have improved lots. My problem solving skills have also improved as I quickly realised that I am more than capable with diagnosing problems with the cars myself, as I can’t keep asking colleagues questions every 5 minutes as they’re really busy too. All in all, my confidence has grown massively and I don’t think I’d be as confident as I am now if I didn’t choose to study an apprenticeship.
Q. What is your college/work life balance like?
A. It actually works out really well for me as I work 4 days a week and go into college 1 day a week where I learn all of the theory work that underpins the practical skills I gain in the workplace. So although I am busy Monday to Friday every week, I still have weekday evenings and the weekend to catch-up with my mates and family.
Q. How did you feel when you were offered the work placement at G&S Motor Services?
A. I was a bit speechless at first but was extremely happy and proud that I was being given a chance to kick-start my career with a garage that has a great reputation locally. I only initially went for a trial but my boss obviously saw something in me and offered me the placement straight away. I was chuffed!
Q. What support do you receive from your assessor?
A. I receive a lot of support from my assessor. We regularly discuss the progress of my coursework and they are there to provide any support I need or answer any queries I have. I didn’t really enjoy essay writing or coursework at school but with my assessor’s support, my confidence has grown massively and my writing skills have improved. I’m usually told I’m doing well and I’m progressing more and more every day which is great.
Q. What would you say to somebody thinking about studying an apprenticeship?
A. Do it! You get really valuable work experience and the opportunity to have different people teaching you different things every day. The workplace is definitely the best place to be if you want to get hands-on experience. You get to earn and learn at the same time and have experiences that you wouldn’t get in the classroom.