This week (1-5 March 2021) is Scottish Apprenticeship Week – a time to share the value apprenticeships can bring to individuals, employers and the economy. This year’s theme is ‘Business Backing Talent’, showcasing the great things that happen when employers back talent through apprenticeships.
We’re taking this opportunity to catch up with some of our apprentices to learn more about their experiences, plans for the future, and advice for others considering taking up an apprenticeship programme at Lothian.
Meet Jake Fleming, apprentice mechanic
How long have you been an apprentice at Lothian?
I’m in the fourth year of my apprenticeship here at Lothian.
What made you apply to become an apprentice at Lothian?
I always had a general interest in the motor trade anyway, and I wanted a trade that would put me in good stead for later life. The skills I learn could take me in many different directions in life.
Did you have a passion for engineering beforehand?
I would say so yes, I was always interested in how things work and the whole ‘behind the scenes’ element of buses.
Do you remember your first day as an apprentice? What was your first task?
I do actually, my first task was doing injector sleeves on the back of a bus. It was fairly daunting to be honest with you. It was a big intense job for my first day!
Would you say you have benefited from the day-to-day on-job training Lothian provides their apprentices?
Absolutely, because you never know what will pop up each day. The job is different every day, we do so many different tasks here there’s always something to learn on the job.
“I wanted a trade that would put me in good stead for later life. The skills I learn could take me in many different directions in life.”
How do you feel about the working environment the garages offer?
It’s pretty good, everyone is there to help if you need it. The equipment is modern too so we’re working with the best tools.
Do you take pride in your work, providing safe buses that serve your local area?
Definitely, whenever I’m doing anything I always triple check it to make sure it’s done properly.
What has been the best part about being an apprentice at Lothian?
So far, it’s probably getting my bus licence, that was a good one. Not only will I be a qualified engineer at the end of the course, but I’ll also have something else behind me.
What are your plans for when you finish your apprenticeship?
I would like to get kept on and work full time at Lothian.
If you could sum up your Lothian experience in one sentence, what would it be?
Challenging but rewarding!
Would you recommend the Lothian apprenticeship to other people?
Yes it’s a great place to learn skills.
Give one piece of advice for an apprentice on their first day in the garage?
Listen carefully and pay attention. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic, we have temporarily suspended apprenticeship recruitment but you can find out more about courses with GTG Training who we deliver our programme in partnership with: GTG Automotive Apprenticeships.