Eltham Test Centre continues success with local apprentices
South London-based garage, Eltham Test Centre has continued its tradition of training and developing its team from the ground up, adding another apprentice to the garage through the Bosch Car Service scheme. The garage’s most recent apprentice, Ryan, was recently named as ‘Apprentice of the Year’ for 2014 by Bosch.
The garage, based on Avery Hill Road, New Eltham, has a longstanding history of taking on young technicians, and sees the value in nurturing new talent for the automotive industry. Many of the staff started out as apprentices, while other technicians who began their careers at Eltham Test Centre have since gone on to open garages of their own.
A former apprentice himself, with over 50 years in the industry, Gordon Richards of Eltham Test Centre knows what it takes to progress in the automotive aftermarket, and feels that the practical side of an apprenticeship makes it more appealing than classroom-based courses.
“We think that garages such as ourselves have a duty to provide apprenticeships to the local area, helping young technicians get into the industry and develop skills that will serve them for years to come,” said Gordon Richards. “As part of the Bosch Car Service network, we can provide our apprentices with the most up-to-date equipment and training courses, helping them become Master Technicians in just a few years.”
Having supported motorists and apprentices in the local community for over half a century, Gordon is not quite ready to hang up his tools yet, but has left the mentoring of the apprentices in the capable hands of Eddie Lightfoot. Under the guidance of Eddie, Eltham Test Centre’s current apprentice, Ryan, was named as Bosch’s apprentice of the year in 2014, after successfully completing his first year on the programme.
Once Ryan completes three years with the garage, he will achieve nationally recognised level 2 VRG and level 3 VCQ qualifications. This will enable him to work as a fuller member of the team, providing New Eltham motorists with the high levels of service they have come to expect from Eltham Test Centre.
“There really is no better way to develop talent and create jobs in the industry in my opinion,” added Gordon. “The Bosch scheme is second to none, and we have just added a second apprentice to our company, based at Petersfield Garage Services. Eddie Lightfoot has been doing a great job as a tutor, and you can really see that our apprentice, Ryan, is benefitting from learning from a Master Technician using the latest Bosch diagnostic equipment.”
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Picture: Eltham Test Centres' apprentice Ryan (2nd from left) collecting his 'Apprentice of the Year' Award at the Bosch Car Service conference. Far right: Gordon Edwards