February 2024 -
We caught up with Joshua, our 2nd year Light Commercial Vehicle Technician (LCV) Apprentice Based in Coventry recently to see how he is developing in his career and to discuss why he would recommend a choosing a Mercedes-Benz apprenticeship course at Midlands Truck & Van.
You’re almost halfway through your 3 year apprenticeship course now, tell us, how is it going?
It’s going great! This apprenticeship has been a game-changer for me. Without it, I would probably be struggling in college right now. Being able to stay active and hands on with the course while learning has really helped me remain engaged and process information more effectively.
How is your apprenticeship split between academic study and on the job learning?
I spend 6 weeks working in the Coventry workshop with my mentors, then I spend a week at college in Milton Keynes. After that, I return for another 6 weeks of hands-on work, followed by another week of college again. This pattern repeats, but every third rotation I have an online course instead of the week at college.
What skills have you learned so far during your time with us?
So far, I've been able to strip and rebuild gearboxes, and I'm actually working on that today! I've been getting a lot more hands-on experience, and I am now trusted to work on my own - with mentors then checking my work afterwards. I have also had the opportunity to interact with customers, breaking down jobs explaining what work has been carried out and why, but only on the small jobs at the moment.
I'm really looking forward to developing my skills and expanding my knowledge even further in the future.
What are you looking forward to going forward in your apprenticeship?
I'm actually really excited about qualifying my apprenticeship. It's still a year and a half away, but I can't wait to reach that milestone. Oh, and I'm definitely looking forward to the next Midlands Truck & Van Summer BBQ too!
So, now that you are nearly halfway through your apprenticeship, have your goals for the future changed at all?
I want to stay here! I like the people, the banter, and of course, the job itself. It is a very supportive environment here; everyone is happy to help me when I need it. There are also some great opportunities for progression here at Midlands Truck & Van, which is definitely a plus.
After completing my LCV Apprenticeship, an option I am seriously considering is going on to be a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) Technician, but there are many possible avenues I could take going forwards.
Would you recommend a Mercedes-Benz Apprenticeship?
Yes, it is a great opportunity to earn while you learn! You qualify with a level 3 apprenticeship that you can build your career path further with, there is a lot of opportunity in the commercial vehicle sector depending on what you want to achieve.
Question for Joshua’s mentor - Jay:
How do you think Josh is doing? Any strengths or weaknesses you would like to share with us?
I think he's getting on great here. There never seems to be any major issues, as he always manages to get the job done. His strengths include being really confident and always willing to give anything a shot. However, one area that could benefit from some improvement is his attention to detail. But overall Josh will do well in his apprenticeship.
March 2023 -
Get to know more about Joshua - our first year van technician at Midlands Truck & Van Coventry. Find out what he thinks about kickstarting your career with an apprenticeship course.
- Why did you apply for this apprenticeship?
- Mercedes-Benz is a prestigious company and having the ability to learn the brand whilst working within Midlands Truck & Van seemed a good opportunity for me. Going into passenger car I thought would have been my first choice, but my family also use Mercedes-Benz vans – so this encouraged me to join the scheme, so I can also help work on their vehicles in the future.
- Why choose to be a technician?
- It seems a good trade to learn with a wide variety achievements that can be made. I always knew I could not work in an office job, and I needed something more hands-on.
- What do you want to achieve at the end of your apprenticeship?
-I have already thought about further career progression past the apprenticeship. What other courses that I could potentially do, and different avenues in which I could take my career once I have passed.
- Are you enjoying the hands-on approach to learning?
- I love it. I chose an apprenticeship, as I could not just sit learning something every day in an education setting. I like that its hands on approach, I enjoy getting stuck in, if I am waiting for my mentor or I’ve finished a job early, I will happily pick up a broom or a mop and help clean the workshop. It is also really good to be learning techniques and tips from my mentor and the experienced technicians, my mentor seems to enjoy working on the more complex jobs, such as wiring faults, and by watching him I know in the future when these jobs arise, I will be able to handle them.
- What are your future goals?
- I would be happy to stay within Midlands Truck & Van, I have only been here 6 months so far, but I can already tell that I can learn so much from the business past my apprenticeship. I know that by learning and qualifying with Mercedes-Benz brand, and as technology changes, there’s always new things to learn and adapt, such as the advancement with the electric vehicles we are now seeing in the workshops more and more. In the future, maybe I will be the mentor taking on an apprentice.
James, Joshua's mentor, is a van technician with 29 years experience and has shared his experience of the programme.
- I really enjoy the ideas of apprentices in the workshop, knowing that collectively our knowledge within the team is teaching the next generation of mechanics is rewarding. Hints and tips that I learnt when I first started out are now being passed down. It is really good to see them use initiative as well, I think I’m quite lucky with Joshua, he is really keen and eager to learn which makes the process run smoothly.
The friendships that a formed are good too, it is a rewarding process and at the end, once they have qualified, you can sit back and think, we’ve all helped with that. The apprenticeship course is definitely a success within Midlands Truck & Van.