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In celebration of National Apprenticeship Week from 5th - 11th February, we will be sharing the inspiring stories from apprentices working for RRG currently. Today we hear from Steph Lord who works as a Vehicle Technician at RRG Bolton Toyota.
My name is Steph and I have been a Vehicle Technician at Toyota Bolton for over 17 years. When I was in High School I never really knew what I wanted to do, other than I wanted to do something practical / a job with my hands (I wanted to be a vet but I can't stand the sight of blood). I got an interest in cars in my late teens, mainly from watching TV programmes like Top Gear / Pimp My Ride, I had no practical experience before I started, just thought it looked interesting.
I did 2 weeks work experience through School at Volvo and thought it was worth a shot. At school I was very academic, I liked Maths and Science. These came in helpful as a good grade in core subjects made the apprenticeship process easier. The process involved a couple of written key skills test, an interview and then a work trial. Then once on the program you do a lot of learning 'on the job' with supported learning at a local College on a block release system, so you go for a couple of weeks at a time. It was a really good blended way of learning both practical and background theory.
I'm sure it's changed a lot since the 17 years ago I did it but the principles remain the same. It took me just over 3 years to complete and I gained a level 3 light vehicle technician qualification. I have since gained Toyota specific qualifications such as Pro Technician status and MOT Licence plus so much more. A typical day for me involves a lot of Servicing and MOT checks on vehicles, including any repairs making sure cars are road worthy and safe.
I enjoy my job as I like the variety and constant learning associated with an everchanging role, especially with the development of electric and hydrogen vehicles. To anyone who is thinking about it I would say give it a go!