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 Zaki Sajid, shift mechanic apprentice
How long have you been an apprentice at Lothian?
I’ve only been at Lothian since September 2018.
What made you apply to become an apprentice at Lothian?
There are so many benefits, the pension scheme being one of them. I was looking for a career and somewhere to progress after my apprenticeship. I feel Lothian provides me with that opportunity.
Did you have a passion for engineering beforehand?
Definitely yes. I’ve always liked my cars and vehicles in general.
Do you remember your first day as an apprentice? What was your first task?
Yes I remember my first day well! I was asked to build my own tool box so I’d have everything I’d need to go about the other tasks I’d be asked to do.
Would you say you have benefited from the day-to-day on-job training Lothian provides their apprentices?
I feel personally I learned more doing things practically rather than in the classroom. This is definitely the best way for me to learn the skills. It’s much easier learning the trade while on the job.
How do you feel about the working environment the garages offer?
You get a good laugh there’s always jokes flying around the garage. It’s a very cheery place.
“My mum, sister, gran and other family members use the buses all the time. It feels great to know you’re serving the public. It’s another benefit of the job to be helping the public.”
Do you take pride in your work, providing safe buses that serve your local area?
100% – my mum, sister, gran and other family members use the buses all the time. It feels great to know you’re serving the public. It’s another benefit of the job to be helping the public.
What has been the best part about being an apprentice at Lothian?
The tasks you get given, some of them may be challenging but you’re encouraged to have a go and it makes you feel like the team have confidence in you if they’re asking you do to the task.
What are your plans for when you finish your apprenticeship?
My plan is to stay on here and continue my career at the company.
If you could sum up your Lothian experience in one sentence, what would it be?
Challenging, but beneficial!
Would you recommend the Lothian apprenticeship to other people?
I’d definitely recommend it. There are always different things going on and it’s great to learn on the job.
Give one piece of advice for an apprentice on their first day in the garage?
Ask questions, a lot of the time people may be nervous to ask but if you’re unsure just ask, we have lots of people who are happy to answer.
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.