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 Jamie Aitken, apprentice coachbuilder
How long have you been an apprentice at Lothian?
Nearly three years.
What made you apply to become an apprentice at Lothian?
I wanted a long-term career and I felt this apprenticeship gave me a great opportunity to develop my skills.
Did you have a passion for engineering beforehand?
I wouldn’t say so really. I’ve always been hands on and this job appealed to me because of that.
Do you remember your first day as an apprentice? What was your first task?
I remember my first day but I don’t remember my first task it was a little while ago now!
“The on-job training gives us the experience of the job and there’s not a lot of apprenticeships that offer such an authentic experience.”
Would you say you have benefited from the day-to-day on-job training Lothian provides their apprentices?
Definitely, I think it’s a much more effective way of learning if you’re actually doing the job. The on-job training gives us the experience of the job and there’s not a lot of apprenticeships that offer such an authentic experience.
How do you feel about the working environment the garages offer?
It’s a great place to work, everyone gets on with each other and its easier to work that way knowing you can go to people for help.
Do you take pride in your work, providing safe buses that serve your local area?
I like to take pride in my work especially knowing your playing your part in providing a safe and clean bus service for people in your local community.
What has been the best part about being an apprentice at Lothian?
In 2019 I was named Apprentice of the Year at the Lothian People Awards. It was great to be appreciated and recognised by my colleagues for the work I do each day.
What are your plans for when you finish your apprenticeship?
No idea yet; because of the pandemic my apprenticeship has another two years to go so I’m just focussed on finishing the apprenticeship.
If you could sum up your Lothian experience in one sentence, what would it be?
The best place to learn a trade.
Would you recommend the Lothian apprenticeship to other people?
Yeah absolutely, it’s a great place to begin your career.
Give one piece of advice for an apprentice on their first day in the garage?
Work hard and you’ll get where you want to go.
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.