Car dealer takes pole position

Published: 21 Oct 2015

A north-east car dealer has helped put the Press and Journal’s Apprentice 100 campaign in the fast lane.

John Clark Motor Group’s BMW division will take on a trainee technician as part of our drive to create dozens of new jobs for talented young people.

The candidate will learn from experienced staff at John Clark in Aberdeen and the BMW academy at Reading in Berkshire.

Raymond Henderson, service manager at John Clark BMW, said the company’s apprenticeship programme was “second to none”.

He said the skills required to work in the industry had changed hugely since he joined the company 35 years ago.

Mr Henderson said: “Back then mechanics were all you needed, but now you need technicians.

“Being a mechanic is no longer enough. They need to be able to understand computers – nowadays cars are basically just big computers on wheels.”

Training and retraining is the backbone of the business, with experienced, full-time technicians enrolled on refresher courses each year. All training is done on newer models of cars using the latest techniques and equipment.

Trainee Joshua Falls, 17, said the level of instruction he received was helping him fulfil his ambitions.

Joshua said: “I have always liked cars. Ever since I was little, they were my passion – I really took a liking to them. Anytime my dad was out in the car, I would be there as well.”

Joshua Falls

Joshua only started his formal training at John Clark in July, but his relationship with the company goes back to 2012 when he took part in a competition featured in the Press and Journal.

Joshua and his classmates were challenged to design an eco-friendly roof for a Mini Cooper.

The company decided Joshua’s design was worthy of the top prize and offered him work experience opportunities, which eventually led to his apprenticeship. He has learned an array of technical skills and has enhanced his aptitude for teamwork.

He said: “When I wake up I look forward to going to work. Each day is different when you’re an apprentice, so it’s good to come in knowing it won’t be the same as the previous day.”

Mr Henderson added: “We look at taking on apprentices every year. We also do a lot of work experience with schools – young people are our future.”

Apply to become a John Clark trainee by completing an application form on the apprenticeships section of the BMW UK website.

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