My name is Franny Hornblow. I’m the Company Secretary of PR Motors, a small independent garage workshop that’s been operating in Tidmarsh (just outside of Reading, Berkshire) since 1990. In reality my role covers everything to do with the business that isn’t spanner related.
In this article I’m going to talk about training and apprenticeships.
My personal training background is an Economics degree from Cambridge in the 1980s followed by qualifying as a chartered accountant with what was then PW in London in 1991. I worked for BP for 15 years as an accountant in London and Cleveland, Ohio, before taking the quantum leap of joining PR Motors some 10 years ago now. However, all technicians in our team started their careers by completing an apprenticeship. There really is no other viable route to being a vehicle technician (mechanic if you’re old school!)
I thought I’d tell you a little bit about each of our apprentices and how their experience has developed from both our perspective and theirs.
So, the first apprentice we had is Bobby. His road has been, long, tortuous at times, but eventually successful. Never has the saying ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again’ been more valid!
This story begins in 2005. Bobby joined us straight from school aged 16 as a general assistant. He started his apprenticeship 2 years later in 2007 – attending Newbury College 1 day a week in term times and working with us for the other 4.
The first 2 years passed fairly smoothly (just the odd re-take here and there) and then he took a break for personal reasons. Bobby continued to work for us during this period and eventually decided that without a proper qualification his career had already flat-line