How did you choose your apprenticeship?
I saw the apprenticeship advertised online when I was looking for apprenticeships in the automotive industry. The advert appealed to me and after a quick search online about The Vella Group, the company seemed very professional and the type of place I would like to work in, and the apprenticeship programme sounded interesting.
What does a typical day in work look like?
A working day varies depending on what area of repair I am working with. A day on panel would start with assessing what we need to achieve on the car we have in for repair and how much of the day should be spent doing what. We would then get started on the repair and finish that part of it. It may only be a small filler repair or a larger rear quarter replacement job, it varies every day. We have a lunch break and an afternoon coffee break which breaks the day up nicely.
Tell us about your team, who you work closely with.
I work closely with 3 main technicians who give me jobs, supervise me and sign off the work I do. Mark, who is the paint technician, Lee who is the MET technician and Russ, who is the panel technician. I get along well with them all and we can always have a laugh and a conversation while getting the jobs done.
What's the most valuable skill you've learnt in work?
The most valuable skill I think I've learnt is how to repair cars in the correct process and learning why it is so important we do everything to the industry standard. Aside from the repair process though, the ability to work in a team and communicate with people on different levels and areas of the repair process is vital.
What achievement are you most proud of?
I think that gaining the apprenticeship in the first place was my best achievement so far as I've only been doing my apprenticeship for just over a year, but during that time I've learnt to adapt to new skills and learn quickly which I think is an achievement in itself.
What advice would you give to aspiring apprentices?
I would tell a new apprentice not to be scared of getting stuck in to the job straight away. If you make a mistake, learn from it. Everyone makes mistakes in this industry at every level, and as long as you learn from it there's no need to worry. Having a basic grasp of how to use tools and how vehicles function is useful too, so that would greatly help, especially in the first few weeks so you don't get fooled into getting a 'glass hammer' or a 'long stand'!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years' time?
In 10 years, I will be a fully qualified technician and I have always wanted to be part of a small racing team with a few of my friends, so I'd like to be able to work on our track cars and do necessary repairs for the team. I would also like to pass my knowledge onto a new apprentice so if that opportunity came so soon, I could see myself being a mentor.