Paul Stringer, second year Apprentice HGV Technician.
I have always had a passion for cars and trucks, anything vehicle related. I always wanted to be a mechanic. I completed some work experience at a car garage but struggled because I’m 6ft 5”, so I started to look at truck apprenticeships instead when I came across Motus Commercials.
I start work at 8am but I like to get to work early so I’m usually in the workshop for around 7:30am. It is my job to ensure the workshop is clean, tidy, and kept to a high standard to avoid hazards.
During the day I will help qualified HGV technicians, this helps me learn on the job as they will ask me questions whilst completing tasks to ensure I understand the different components and methods. In the past I have also helped the technicians with diagnostics, which is part of the level 3 course. During a normal day, I prefer to do engine strips, rebuilding gearboxes and clutches and will work on four or five different trucks to ensure they are back on the road as quickly and as safely as possible.
At 4:30pm its time to go home.
The apprenticeship is not just the practical element, I also attend the DAF training centre at the City of Bristol College. We are usually away for two weeks at a time. Before I go, I prepare as best I can to make the most of the time, reading the college materials so I know what we will cover. Whilst at college we are in classes 9am-5pm, Tuesday to Thursday and half days Monday and Friday to allow for travel.
Learning whilst away was new to me as I hadn’t lived away from home before I joined the DAF apprenticeship. However, everyone is in the same position as you and once I made friends it became a lot easier and now, I look forward going to college. I stay in a house with a host, it’s a great experience and it’s nice to have someone there to chat and have a cup of tea with. On the evenings I go out with the other apprentices and play pool or go to the shopping centre. Aside from socialising it is important to crack on with the work to ensure everything is complete before you start back at work again. Although now, all classes are virtual due to the pandemic.
My favourite part of being an apprentice are the skills but teaches you time management and organisation. I am now able to plan and stick to a routine, which is very important.
To anyone considering an apprenticeship with Motus I would say if you’re up for a challenge and want to be hands on, 100% go for it! You spend a lot of time in the workshop to learn, as well as technical help from college. Most importantly, the support from Motus Commercials really helps, especially now with the coronavirus situation. Sarah Bardens (National Apprenticeship Manager) has helped me so much and is always there to support you. The support network at Motus Commercials is great, my supervisor, workshop controller and manager are all supportive when I’m at work.
It’s definitely life changing, I have become successful within my apprenticeship, working and earning money. I wouldn’t be where I am now without my DAF apprenticeship.