My Apprenticeship Story by Georgia Spybey

An inspirational parent and a passion for panel beating!

I always liked the idea of working in the automotive industry because my Dad worked in the sector, and I had the chance to visit his workplace from time to time and get to know more about the huge variety of roles. My Dad has always been my biggest inspiration, and that’s perhaps why I chose to pursue a career in automotive. Here is #MyApprenticeshipStory.

Once I’d decided that it was the place for me, I needed to find an apprenticeship that would suit me best, so I applied for the Level 3 Vehicle Damage Panel Technician apprenticeship with Solus Accident Repair. I had already completed Level 1 and Level 2 multi-skilled technical qualifications with Barnfield College, and my enthusiasm for body repair meant that whenever I had free time I took the opportunity to use my learning practically in a bodyshop.

At school my best subjects were English and Maths, and luckily for me, English and Maths were the qualifications that were required for me to get onto the Panel Technician apprenticeship scheme. Once I began my apprenticeship journey, I was given residential block training, at the Automotive 30% Club member company Thatcham Research, which gave me a mixture of practical experience and theoretical knowledge to go alongside my work tasks. The training was really exciting and fun, and it helped me learn so much. I was also given a workplace mentor at Solus who mentored me during my time on site. This helped me hugely in the workplace, as I could seek advice from someone with lots of experience. 

Overall, my apprenticeship lasted 3 years, and I achieved a Level 3 Panel Technician qualification, so I am now a fully qualified Panel Technician, and can work independently and utilise all the skills I developed throughout my apprenticeship. I have also passed my bonding/riveting and welding qualification during this time. 

I really enjoyed the learning side of my apprenticeship and I found that the experience I got from working with the team was really valuable. I learned a lot from them, and they helped me hugely with my apprenticeship progression. 

I also love that everyday is different in my role, some days I carry out big jobs such as quarter panels, and other days I do smaller jobs like small dents and bumper jobs. 

I would advise anyone considering an apprenticeship to go for it, and take the opportunity to continue learning whilst earning. Full time work and study can be challenging. But don’t give up if it gets hard, because it’ll be worth it in the end.

Share this..