AW Repair Group’s recent Apprentice Showcase event held on the 9th October has secured 15 apprentices into the AW Training & Apprenticeship Academy.
Two hundred applications were received from young hopefuls to attend the event and following the selection process 40 young people were offered to see the industry in action at the showcase hosted at the company’s latest site in Lincoln.
The eager and engaging attendees saw all aspects of the changing, technology focused industry from metal reforming to Rivet & bonding, refinishing, virtual welding and ADAS recalibration supported by immersive hands-on experiences provided by AW’s attending supplier partners.
Steve Hoe, AW’s Technical Development Executive and vice chairman of BRIT (British Repair Industry Trail Blazer) commented: “We had some fantastic young people attend our event progressing many for one-to-one interviews and have now taken on 15 apprentices for our next cohort. The will be split to attend either Thatcham and follow the MET Apprenticeship route or Emtec college to follow the Multi Skilled Accident Repair Technician Apprenticeship route.”
More than 40 of AW’s current team, from current apprentices to frontline customer staff and site managers, were on site to answer questions and escort visitors around the event. They, and suppliers, noted names of attendees who stood out.
Stuart Alexander from Car-o-Liner commented: “The early recruitment process within AW must be fantastic because every one of the hopeful apprentices were really genuinely interested. Some had come with their parents and others supported by their partners. It was great to see.”
Added Mark Calder who participated on behalf of Thatcham Research Centre: “There seems to be a shift in the type of young people attracted to this event and that’s great credit to AW Repair Group. The youngsters were very in touch with and interested in future technologies in vehicles and how that will impact the repair process. There was very much an openness towards the ability to use computerised systems as much, if not more than, traditional manual repair techniques.”
Founder & CEO Andrew Walsh thanked each supplier who had taken their time to attend and support the event, bringing future talent to the industry: PowerTec, LKQ, Car-O-Liner, Red (part of asTech), UPOL, Stanners, 3M, Sikkens, AutoRaise, Emtec and Thatcham.
“We wouldn’t be able to put on such a successful event without the support of our supplier partners so a huge thank you to them and the AW team who gave up their Saturday to share their knowledge and enthusiasm of the industry,” said Andrew.
“Bringing future talent into AW through our Training & Apprenticeship Academy is extremely important for our longevity and sustainability. It’s so important we present these opportunities to eager young people to really start their lifelong careers on the right path. It was so good to hear the feedback from everyone that the perception of the accident repair industry is certainly changing. We have done so much work in presenting the industry as a clean, technologically advancing, environmentally conscious industry and to hear this from the young people we need to attract is absolutely fantastic.”
Simon joined AW’s Sleaford HQ straight from school in 1999 and he is now one of our most highly accredited panel technicians.
Simon started his apprenticeship ‘right at the bottom’ (his words) with no previous experience but with a huge passion for cars!
After practicing his repair techniques on old panels destined for the skip, more than 20 years on Simon is now where he wants to be within the company, a TecKnowlogy technician after completing multiple manufacturer training courses including Tesla training in Tilburg, The Netherlands.