Garages urged to consider apprentices

A 25-year-old is aiming to open his own garage one day after qualifying as an MOT tester and winning an award for automotive apprentices.

Matt Hubbard qualified as a mechanic through his three-year apprenticeship at Lindley’s Autocentres in Nottingham and won the 2014 award for the automotive apprentice of the year at Central College Nottingham.

Taking on an apprentice is an excellent route to tackling skills shortages and finding staff that can be trained in the culture of the business. But businesses looking at the apprenticeship option should consider that effects it could have on their road risks insurance or motor trade insurance quote, which they will need to check to ensure they are adequately covered for additional workers.

Mr Hubbard will now go on a management trainee course via his employers so he is equipped to take on a senior role with the business in the future.

Family-owned Lindley’s, which has been trading since 1959, has three repair shops in Nottinghamshire and knows the value of apprenticeships. All bar one of the eight workshop and office staff have joined the business through an apprenticeship. They include workshop controller Mick Betts, who completed his apprenticeship 14 years ago.

Director Alex Lindley told the Nottingham Post: "It's something we've always done to maintain staff levels. You can tailor them exactly to the roles you want them to get into and you are often rewarded with loyalty. We have 10-year plans for some of our apprentices.

"It's very difficult to come across decent mechanics now but it's a great trade to go into."