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Apprentices Motor Through First Year

Published: 5th September 2012 23:39

Apprentices Motor Through First Year

Two young mechanics are accelerating their careers at Warwickshire County Council's County Fleet Maintenance (CFM).

Nineteen-year-old apprentice technicians Guy Raisen from Stratford, and Will Ratcliffe, from Rugby, are going through the gears after completing their first year in the CFM workshop at Montague Road in Warwick.

The pair both discovered the apprenticeship programme through the county council's website and secured places which started last August.

Guy and Will have attended Delphi College in Warwick, in addition to getting practical experience at CFM, while working towards their Institute of Motor Industry (IMI) Level 3 certificates and NVQ Level 3 qualifications. After three years they will be fully qualified mechanics.

Both have long had ambitions to work in the motor industry, having restored classic cars at home from a young age.

"This job is all I have ever wanted to do," said Guy. "The county council makes sure we get as much training as possible and are prepared for the challenges of the role.

"You can read a lot from books but the real benefit here is getting the hands on experience. A workshop like this one is a fantastic opportunity to learn about all the different aspects of the garage and the different vehicles."

Both apprentices benefit from learning from a mentor - one of the workshop's master technicians - and a tailored training programme which has enabled them to become adept at anything from carrying our safety checks to rebuilding engines.

Will said: "It has been a very beneficial first year and it has provided me with a huge amount of knowledge and the grounding to have a career in this profession.

"We are now able to work on a variety of vehicles, guided by a mentor, and continue to keep up to date with the latest vehicle technology."

CFM's apprentice training programme is designed to address an ageing workforce and meet the needs of customers which include Warwickshire Police, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service, and bus operators.

Once they complete their apprenticeships, both Guy and Will hope to train as master technicians.

Guy added: "The apprenticeship has allowed me to follow the career I wanted to do and also to train and be able to adapt and turn my hand to anything that comes into the workshop."

County Fleet Maintenance is Warwickshire County Council's in-house vehicle maintenance provider and has traded for over 25 years, offering a service to public and private sector operations.

Last year CFM spent a total of 184 days on training initiatives. It has more than 30 staff across its three workshops in Warwick, Wellesbourne and Coleshill.

CFM General Manager Alec Would said: "We cannot leave the training of our staff and succession planning to chance. Our apprentice training programme is an important part of our overall approach to staff training but, by no means, the whole story.

"The nature of the fleet maintenance sector and advances in vehicle technology dictate that to stay ahead of the game we must continue to invest heavily in technical training."

For more information about Warwickshire County Council apprenticeships, visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/apprenticeships

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