My Apprenticeship Story by Melissa Cureton

From university to the workshop – the power of controlling your own destiny.  

When I completed my A Levels and went to university to become a vet, I had no idea that I’d end up working in the automotive industry only a few years later, and be happier than ever! So here is #MyApprenticeshipStory.

I wasn’t happy studying to be a vet because I got so upset at the thought of ill animals, so I decided it was time to take control of my own destiny and choose my own career pathway. It’s just a bonus that cars don’t make me cry!

An apprenticeship provided a clear route into the career that I wanted. I had always loved cars and dreamt of working as a mechanic one day, but I never really knew that apprenticeships were available in the sector. Apprenticeships were never offered to me at school, they were never explained and they were never spoken about in my school, so once I’d done my GCSEs, I progressed onto A-Levels, and then university. 

Having finished university, I realised I’d wasted 3 years doing something that I wasn’t interested in, so I did some research and came across an apprenticeship opening at Renault Retail Group for an Apprentice Vehicle Technician. The job description was everything I could have dreamed of and more! So I applied, and the rest was history. Looking back, things would have been very different if I’d  had my options explained properly to me at a young age, but everything happens for a reason.

My apprenticeship is 3 years long and upon completion I achieve a Level 3 qualification in vehicle technician work and I can honestly say I learn something new every day, both at work and during my apprenticeship training weeks at our state of the art training centre. It is laid out as a fully functioning workshop, but also has classrooms and breakout areas for different types of learning. We go for a few days and we learn in lots of different ways, so there’s always something that suits the individual’s learning style.

My advice to anyone considering an apprenticeship is, don’t wait around. Apply for the ones that appeal to you and make your interest known to companies. Don’t be pressured by others into making the wrong choices, it is you who has to sit for three years and learn every aspect of the chosen subject, and it may lead to a career for life. So if it isn’t something that you enjoy, you could potentially be unhappy with your job for the rest of your life. It may not be the best paid job in the world that you choose a career in, but you can’t put a price on happiness.



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