Burwell garage manager urges school leavers to consider apprenticeships as National Apprenticeships Week begins

Harvey Robinson, operations manager at Manchetts garage and workshop in Burwell and apprentice, CJ H

Harvey Robinson, operations manager at Manchetts garage and workshop in Burwell and apprentice, CJ Hilbourn. PHOTO: Manchetts - Credit: Archant

The manager of a Burwell garage is encouraging school leavers to consider apprenticeships rather than go to university.

Harvey Robinson, operations manager at Manchetts garage and workshop, believes that so few young people are going into apprenticeships, especially in car mechanics, that those people who do become fully trained can “name their price” when entering a job.

He said: “I don’t think people realise the opportunities there are for a great career after an apprenticeship in motor mechanics. Fully trained technicians are easily earning more than £30,000 a year and those who take Master training can earn up to £65,000.

“Compare that with many university-leavers and you can see it is a great job – plus you won’t have huge student debts.

“But we always struggle to recruit fully-trained technicians and find that we always have to train youngsters ourselves through apprenticeships.

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“It is actually quite a technical job these days, with lots of training in diagnostics using computers so we would welcome highly academic students with good grades in maths and science.

“We also look for someone who has a passion for cars and understanding how things work. Those apprentices who do best are the ones who love the job.”

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Harvey’s call comes during National Apprenticeships Week (March 6-10), which is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on workers and businesses.

Manchetts apprentice Charles Junior Hilbourn, 19, joined the company in 2015. He said: “Cars have always been an interest of mine as my brother is a mechanic and I grew up spending time in his workshop. I am really enjoying my apprenticeship at Manchetts and I think it is a much better way to study than in a classroom because you get so much more hands-on experience. Plus I get to earn money whilst I learn.

“As a family we knew Manchetts well and when an opening for an apprentice came up I applied and now enjoy working with the team and locally in Burwell, which means I don’t have to travel far either.”

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