WELL on his way to a career on the technical side of the motor industry is apprentice Oliver Prior, who is currently working in the service department of Rybrook BMW in Worcester.
After leaving Oldswinford Hospital School in Stourbridge with GCSEs including technology (A), business (B), science (C), he continued in education achieving a B and two Cs at A-level.
With an interest in technology, Mr Prior, of Kidderminster, went to college to do a full-time course in motor vehicle maintenance and repair at level one, which he successfully completed. In January 2011, he started his apprenticeship at Rybrook’s facility in Wainwright Road, Worcester, to continue his studies at level two.
Mark Taplin, workshop controller at Rybrook, said the knowledge the 22-year-old already had from doing his level one was valuable in the decision to take him on as an apprentice.
“It showed that he had the interest, he wanted to do it and he was already committed to the industry,” said Mr Taplin.
Mr Prior worked with a different technician on a daily basis, initially observing processes then becoming more and more involved as time progressed.
Mr Taplin said: “He is now able to perform routine servicing and pre-delivery inspections without supervision and is at the stage where he is to be involved in a complete engine rebuild.”
The BMW technicians identified at an early stage that Mr Prior was showing the required interest in the work, was always asking questions and wanted to get involved.
Mr Taplin said: “This is not a job where you can learn it all at college, it needs to be a combination of the knowledge and understanding gained applied to the practical experiences needed within the workplace.
“From our point of view, the apprenticeship gives us the flexibility that we need – one day per week at college and we have Oliver for four days to train and work with.”
Mr Prior’s progression on his level two apprenticeship has led to Rybrook discussing his progression on to the level three advanced apprenticeship with South Worcestershire College and consideration for BMW technician training in the near future.
Mr Prior said: “The four days a week at work has allowed me to get real hands-on experiences and I have learned a great deal of knowledge relevant to the trade.
“Having worked with all 16 technicians, I have experienced many different ways and approaches to completing the tasks required following the BMW processes and procedures.”
For further information on available apprenticeships, visit apprenticeships.org.uk. or telephone 08000 150600.