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John Clark group revs up for Apprentice 100 campaign

Apprentice 100: John Clark BMW Cars, Aberdeen. In the picture is apprentice, Joshua Falls. 
Picture by Jim Irvine  2-10-15
Apprentice 100: John Clark BMW Cars, Aberdeen. In the picture is apprentice, Joshua Falls. Picture by Jim Irvine 2-10-15

An Aberdeen car dealer has put the Press and Journal’s Apprentice 100 campaign in the fast lane.

John Clark Motor Group’s BMW division will take on an apprentice technician as part of our 100-day-long drive to create dozens of new jobs for talented young people.

Candidates will learn from experienced technicians at John Clark in Aberdeen and the BMW academy in Reading, Berkshire.

Raymond Henderson, service manager at John Clark BMW, said the company’s apprenticeship programme is “second to none” and can set people up for a range of careers, so thorough is the training.

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

“Back then mechanics were all you needed, but now you need technicians,” Mr Henderson said. “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 receives is superb and is 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 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 that was covered by the Press and Journal.

Joshua and each of his classmates were challenged with designing 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.

Of late, he has learned an array of technical skills, including taking out engines, and has enhanced his aptitude for teamwork.

He said: “When I wake up in the morning 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 it was the previous day.”

Mr Henderson added: “We always look at taking on apprentices every year, as none of us are getting any younger. 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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