“This is the type of job I worked towards when I was in college, so I’m keen to get as much experience as I can.”
Variety has been the key to James’ studies and career so far.
After working with different vehicle makes and models at Walsall College, he has gone on to do the same, and on an even bigger scale at Halfords Autocentre in Lichfield. And in the few months that he has been working there as a part-time mechanic, he has yet to come across the same problem on the same vehicle twice.
“This is the type of job I worked towards when I was in college, so I’m keen to get as much experience as I can,” said James, who studied Level 1, 2 and 3 Vehicle Maintenance and Repair qualifications. His role came about from a recruitment initiative delivered by Halfords to students at the college.
The 18-year-old was among of group of Level 3 students invited to take part in a recruitment and assessment centre session where he worked on two vehicles. After impressing Halford’s National Apprenticeship Manager and Advisor with his work, James completed a job trial session and then the role of trainee mechanic/technician was his.
“I was told afterwards that I had an energetic approach which helped me stand out a bit more,” he recalled. “I like to talk to customers while I work, explaining to them what is happening to their vehicle. I guess this helped me pass my job trial.”
Having first been attracted to cards as a seven-year-old with a playstation, James’ opinion about his personal vehicle of choice has changed rapidly.
“When you’re younger, you’re obsessed with the look and feel of a car, especially when it’s there on a video game in all its glory,” said James. “This doesn’t matter as much as you get older. These days, I judge a car by its safety features, resistance levels and durability.”
James remains grateful to the college for improving his knowledge of cars and giving him his first break into the industry.
He continued: “Being in this job will help my with my studies going forward. I’ve always just tried to get by with written work and not pushed myself enough to improve my spelling. This has come together a lot more now.
“I’d like to stay working at Halfords for the long run because there’s so much to learn. Halfords offer training as well in things like working on hybrid vehicles and providing MOTs. I’d be interested in doing these.”
James added: “I don’t worry about unemployment because mechanics and technicians are always in demand. There are lots of opportunities.”
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