apprentice stories

Joe Mellor

Level 3 Classic Car Restoration

Since attending many vintage vehicle events such as The GoodWood Revival and Kop Hill climb at a young age with my father, I have been intrigued by the mechanisms and operating principles of  historic cars, bikes and machinery. After finishing my AS levels at school, I wasn’t keen on the university path, so I began to search for an equivalent option. I found a brand new course which fuelled my interest for vintage and classic vehicles and it was taught at Bicester College! The course, LVL 3 Vintage car restoration principles covered a wide variety of skills from mechanical restoration through to welding and fabrication.
While studying the course one day a week at Bicester College, I spent the rest of my week at a restoration firm called Tim Walker Restorations Ltd. It was here where I was able to use my theoretical and practical skills that I had learned at college in the real world, helping to build engines, restore vintage chassis and fabricate parts in a wide variety of materials! More importantly, I learned real life skills while being an apprentice and member of the team at TWR, something that I perhaps wouldn’t have done if I had chosen to study at university.
I have just finished my third and final year as an apprentice on the college course, and have been offered a brilliant job to stay at Tim Walker Restorations. I enjoy the diversity every day brings, solving problems and restoring some of the most beautiful and prestigious vehicles in the world. if you are a interested in historic vehicles then I would highly recommend attending the course, as it is certainly the most effective way to jump into the restoration world and to learn skills that are unfortunately dying out. There will always be high demand for the restoration skills that I have learnt from my time as an apprentice at Tim Walker Restorations and Bicester College.

Employer: Tim Walker Restorations

Apprenticeship Managed by: Heritage Skills Academy

Contact details:  t  01438 718224    e  recruitment@heritageskillsacademy.co.uk

www.heritageskillsacademy.co.uk

Emily Leese

Level 2-3 Diploma in Classic Car Restoration

Classic car fanatic Emily, who has been a volunteer at the National Motor Museum since the age of 14, is starting a four-year apprenticeship which is being generously funded by a small group of Beaulieu One Hundred members. The Beaulieu One Hundred membership is committed to supporting the work of the National Motor Museum Trust to preserve Britain’s motoring heritage for future generations.
Emily’s training will be overseen by apprenticeship provider Heritage Skills Academy, which specialises in enabling trainees to work towards industry-standard qualifications as part of its Heritage Engineering Apprenticeships programme, tailored to the specialist automotive restoration industry. Spending most of her time based in the museum workshop at Beaulieu to gain vital hands-on experience, Emily will also study the skills of the trade with Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialist P&A Wood in Essex as block release study, working towards Level 2 and 3 Diplomas in Classic Vehicle Restoration.
Funding for this block release part of her training will be covered by the Automotive Apprentice Bursary awarded by the Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers of London, a charitable association which promotes excellence in the automotive, aerospace and rail industries. Draper Tools has generously donated a comprehensive tool kit and chest to Emily from its Draper Expert range, which will be indispensable to her over the course of her apprenticeship.

Employer: National Motor Museum, Beulieu

Apprenticeship Managed by: Heritage Skills Academy

Contact details:  t  01438 718224    e  recruitment@heritageskillsacademy.co.uk

www.heritageskillsacademy.co.uk

Cosmo Galashan

Level 3 Classic Car Restoration

I have always found mans ability to achieve movement from materials mesmerising. I attended boarding school in rural Scotland, where I was told I had an aptitude for academia, but I knew I didn't have an appetite for it. I went to university to study mechanical engineering and I found this to be too much about abstract maths and not enough getting my hands dirty. So I left.

I was visting a Sunday Scramble event at Bicester Heritage, when I saw a stand for Heritage Skills Academy inside one of the carefully restored old buildings. That was the day I signed up for a course in Classic Vehicle restoration at Bicester Heritage. I sent my sparse CV to several business I thought I would enjoy and went on a few tester days. Despite my lack of experience, I was offered an apprenticeship at McGrath Maserati.


I have now been at McGrath for 2 years and I couldn't be any more appreciative of the chance that Andy Heywood has given me. The knowledge that these guys possess is amazing.  Its a great feeling doing something I really want to do, rather than something I feel I should be doing. I also feel like I'm perpetuating skills and know how which otherwise might be lost in a few generations time.

On a day to day basis I am responsible for helping in any way I can and soaking up as much wisdom as I can. The variety is exciting and the attention to detail humbling.
I learn new skills, techniques and information everyday.

My limited exposure to mechanics until my 20s didn't stop me from finding an apprenticeship, in fact a blank slate can be a good thing. If you are reading this I would advise you to check out apprenticeships in Classic Vehicle Restoration in your area.
 

Employer: McGrath Maserati
Apprenticeship managed by: Active Learning

Apprenticeship provided by: Bicester and Banbury College, Bicester Heritage

Apprenticeship lead by Heritage Skills Academy Contact details:  t  01438 718224   m  07973 425276   e  recruitment@heritageskillsacademy.co.uk

www.heritageskillsacademy.co.uk

Bailey Bilton

Level 2 Vehicle Restoration Apprentice - Coachwork

I didn’t really enjoy going to school and enrolled on a motor vehicle course at a local college. I completed this at level 1 but I wasn’t really into modern cars, I found the older cars far more interesting.
I saw an apprenticeship scheme being advertised by a local Rolls Royce garage and decided to apply for it. I was very lucky to get offered a place on the course. I thought I wanted to work on the mechanical side but after spending time in the coachworks I found that I preferred this side of the industry.
I have now finished Level 2 and am waiting for the Level 3 course to start, I have been helped by the people I work with and the tutor and assessor from college. It has been good that we are taught in a classroom at work.

Employer: P & A Wood

Apprenticeship Managed by: Heritage Skills Academy/North London Garages GTA 

Contact details:  t  01438 718224   m  07973 425276   e  recruitment@heritageskillsacademy.co.uk

www.heritageskillsacademy.co.uk

Eleanor Churchlow

Level 2 Vehicle Restoration Apprentice - Trim

While I was at school I considered a career in Forensic Science, however this would have meant going to Uni, I didn’t want to have a debt before finding employment.
A teacher who knew that I also had an interest in older cars showed me an advert for an Apprenticeship in Classic Vehicle Restoration, because I also am quite a “hands on” person this was something that I hadn’t thought about but it did appeal to me, so I applied on line for an interview.
To my delight I was offered a position at a world class Rolls Royce and Bentley garage. I have always enjoyed creative hobbies and working in the trimming department has meant that I now combine my interest with a career. I have just completed Level 2 and am waiting to start the Level 3 programme and finish my apprenticeship in two years time. I have really enjoyed this course so far, it has provided me with the means to live independently and there is a secure career path for me in this industry.

Employer: P & A Wood

Apprenticeship Managed by: Heritage Skills Academy/North London Garages GTA 

Contact details:  t  01438 718224   m  07973 425276   e  recruitment@heritageskillsacademy.co.uk

www.heritageskillsacademy.co.uk

Jonathan Robinson

Year 2 of Fabrication & Welding Apprenticeship

I'm a second year Fabrication and Welding Apprentice at NYMR, Pickering, working at North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) in Pickering. I find my job a fantastic experience and in the two years of being here it has taught me a variety of skills and experience that I couldn’t have learned anywhere else. It has given me the best opportunity to evolve my career.

My day to day work at NYMR consists of body repair and maintenance of Heritage Carriages. As well as my welding skills for the newer carriages I also use woodwork and joinery skills which I learn from my Mentor in the workplace – this method is mainly used on the older carriages.

I am studying at Derwent Training Association (DTA) in Malton for a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Fabrication and Welding which involves units such as TIG, MIG and MMA welding techniques; we start with basic skills in the first year and become more advanced throughout the duration of our apprenticeship.

My Apprenticeship helps me in the workplace with the quality control of my welding and to be able to check that everything that I do is correct. It enables me to apply the skills that I learn at DTA straight into work.

I think than an Apprenticeship in this industry is a great opportunity to learn skills that are fading out i.e. welding and joinery and learning on the job to maintain these carriages for the public to enjoy, but an Apprenticeship in Engineering could also help you in all different aspects of Engineering.

I would recommend it to anyone.

Lochlan Green

Level 2 Vehicle Restoration Apprentice - Mechanical

When I was at school I wasn’t that sure about what I wanted to do, I’d always had an interest in cars and also engineering. I thought about sixth form or college, I also didn’t know much about apprenticeships until I spoke to my dad. An apprenticeship seemed like the way to go for me. It means I get paid for doing a job while I am learning to do it.
I looked on the internet and found apprenticeships being offered by a Rolls Royce and Bentley dealership close to where I live. I was really happy after the interview process to get an offer to work there. I now work on the mechanical side and enjoy every day. It has been good because we go to college at work, there is a classroom and teacher there who has really helped us with learning.

I am looking forward now to completing the level 3.
 

Employer: P & A Wood
Apprenticeship Managed by: Heritage Skills Academy/North London Garages GTA 

Contact details:  t  01438 718224   m  07973 425276   e  recruitment@heritageskillsacademy.co.uk

www.heritageskillsacademy.co.uk

William Florey

Level 2 Vehicle Restoration Apprentice - Mechanical

Before my apprenticeship I was at sixth form, studying A levels and at the time this was not what I particularly wanted to pursue, in particular the path to university. One of my teachers notified me of an up and coming apprenticeship scheme running with a Rolls Royce and Bentley garage (P&A Wood) not far from my house and school.
An apprenticeship was what I was looking for, in my opinion it’s an opportunity to be more practical, gain work experience and earn some money while I am still learning over the course of several years, in contrast to spending a lot of money in order to study a course at university and not necessarily be guaranteed a job afterwards.
Therefore I applied for the apprenticeship with P&A Wood, and after a very long and thorough interview and trial process I was lucky enough to be one of the very few to be selected for this prestigious course. I have now completed my Level 2 Diploma in Classic Vehicle Restoration and I will be moving into my 3rd year with P&A and onto my level 3.

Employer: P & A Wood

Apprenticeship Managed by: Heritage Skills Academy/North London Garages GTA 

Contact details:  t  01438 718224   m  07973 425276   e  recruitment@heritageskillsacademy.co.uk

www.heritageskillsacademy.co.uk

Jay Lacey

Level 2 Vehicle Restoration Apprentice - Coachwork

I found a position at P & A Wood,  Rolls Royce and Bentley Dealers to do work experience while at school. I then worked there on Saturdays until I left school. I took my time to decide how I wanted my career to go, looking at other job roles or college courses.
I decided that an apprenticeship would be my best option and knew already of the scheme at P&A Wood. I applied for this and had to go through a very thorough interview and trial process before being accepted.
I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to go along a mechanical or coachwork route, during the first year I worked for six weeks at a time in all departments. I enjoyed being in the coachworks most of all and this is where I now work permanently. My Level 2 is complete and in a short time will be starting Level 3. I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who has a hands on approach and a good work ethic.

Employer: P & A Wood

Apprenticeship Managed by: Heritage Skills Academy/North London Garages GTA 

Contact details:  t  01438 718224   m  07973 425276   e  recruitment@heritageskillsacademy.co.uk

www.heritageskillsacademy.co.uk

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