North East Connected

College apprentices move into the driving seat

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 09.14.44YOUNG motor vehicle students are revving up for a career in the fast lane after being becoming the latest recruits to join a 90-year-old family business.

Vauxhall dealership Sherwoods, who have branches in Darlington, Stockton and Northallerton, has enlisted teenage trainees James Towler and Blane Adamson to join their flagship Darlington service centre.

The two trainees are the latest in a large number of apprentices to be taken on by Sherwoods, in partnership with Darlington College, with the assurance of full-time jobs on the successful completion of their training.

After sales manager Andy Hodgson who co-ordinates Sherwoods’ apprentice scheme, said: “We have been working with Darlington College for the past 15 years offering young mechanics the chance to get a start in the motor vehicle industry.

“It can be quite difficult to recruit appropriately qualified technicians so the best way for us to ensure that we have a highly skilled workforce is to train our own apprentices.

“Many of our former trainees are still with us and have continued to work their way up the career ladder to becoming master technicians.”

Alongside gaining their college qualifications, James and Blane will also receive hands on training from highly experienced mechanics in all aspects of diagnostic and technical vehicle maintenance.

Apprentice James Towler, 16, of Barnard Castle, said: “My dad is a mechanic by trade and I wanted to follow in his footsteps.

“I went straight from school to work in a local garage, to gain some experience over the holidays, and then enrolled on the vehicle maintenance course at Darlington College.

“When the opportunity arose for an apprenticeship I applied straight away as I really wanted to learn in a working garage.”

Blane Adamson, 16, of Darlington, added: “I’ve worked on engines with my dad since I was young so I knew that I wanted to be a mechanic when I left Longfield Academy.

“Being an apprentice means you can earn while you learn and I don’t think there is anywhere better to learn that here at Sherwoods. I’d really like to work my way up in the company to become a master technician.”

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