If you want to find out how to become an apprentice, meet Jack. We took him on after he excelled in our Motor Vehicle Maintenance programme, and is now working at our vehicle finishing business, Bright Prospects. Jack is on an intensive two year apprenticeship – a challenging, but enjoyable and rewarding opportunity.
It’s normal to not know what you want to do in life. At sixteen, Jack had finished GCSE’s and tried out several jobs. Nothing seemed to grab him. “When I left school, I wanted to be all sorts,” Jack explains, “but I’ve always had an interest in cars, bikes, so that was the route I was going to go.” It was only after speaking to a Connexion’s advisor that Jack found out about the work Prospect Training Services does. Not only did Jack find the idea of vocational training appealing, it also seemed to be in line with something he had always wanted to do. Today, Jack is a valued and essential member of the team at Bright Prospects at our Mill Place centre. Read more about his journey below.
Name: Jack Harcourt
Favourite film or book: Green Street
Where would you most like to live in the world? Australia
What were you doing before joining with Prospect?
I was a brick-layer’s labourer on and off. Also worked in a butchers, in a supermarket… just odd jobs to try and earn a bit of money, that’s about it. I only had GCSE’s.
What are some of your hobbies, interests and passions?
I do a lot of shooting, fishing – I like my cars a lot too.
Could you tell us a bit about the PTS course you did before starting your apprenticeship?
I enjoyed it, especially the work experience because I got put in a decent garage – a performance garage which does all the tuning and what not. That was really good.
What made you choose PTS over a college course or finding employment at that stage?
After school, I was in and out of jobs so I decided it was time to get a trade. I went down to Connexions in Tewkesbury. They said about Prospects and I thought I’d give it a go. A lot of it was the fact that it wasn’t a college, you weren’t a pupil as such – it seemed a lot more grown up. I was never one to get on well at school – I hated it to be fair. As soon as I heard about Prospect and found out it wasn’t a classroom environment, it definitely appealed. I’m glad I went to Prospect instead of going to college. Saying that, now, after being here, in the job, I quite enjoy the college side. Two years ago I wouldn’t have wanted to go, but by doing a Prospect course and then coming into the real world so to speak, it was a wake-up call because I saw what had to be done.
How did the course live up to your expectations?
It’s everything I expected it to be, I definitely got a lot of support from staff and tutors. When I first started, I just had general knowledge of stuff, but now I’m a lot more capable.
What are you most proud of in yourself with your time spent with PTS?
All of the theory work. I’ve never been good at theory, I’ve always been better hands-on, but I seem to do quite well in it. I didn’t expect that, it was definitely because of the support from my tutors. Also, getting this apprenticeship!
What has been the biggest benefit for you?
It’s given me a kick-start in my apprenticeship. My attitude and confidence definitely improved. I didn’t really think of the bodywork side of it until I started at Bright Prospects either. It’s a good trade. It helped me decide that’s what I wanted to do. I achieved a Level 1 Diploma in Motor Vehicle Maintenance from it.
Was the course something you initially thought you would be doing?
I wanted to be all sorts of different things from game-keepers to mechanic. I didn’t know for definite, I changed my mind every weekend. I thought I’d always end up in the motor trade but it helped me focus.
What are you up to at the moment?
It’s called a 3-in-1 multi-skilled apprenticeship. It’s to do with panel-beating, paint-spraying and what’s called MET, (Mechanical and Electrical Trim) which is all your strip and fit, before and after. It works out to be ten years of apprenticeship in two years which is pretty full on! But it’s definitely a good apprenticeship to be on, I wouldn’t want it any other way. The fact you can make something from nothing. You get a car that comes in that looks like it’s fallen off a cliff and it comes out looking like a million dollars. It’s definitely rewarding. I don’t like to wait for stuff, I like a challenge and to be thrown in the deep end. You wouldn’t believe the amount of stuff you have to know – it’s crazy! Especially with new technology like electric cars.
What are your hopes for the future?
I’ll be qualified and once I’ve passed, if the college and Woody agree I’m capable, I can go on to do an ATA which as highly qualified as I can go. You can’t get a higher award so finger’s crossed! Before I started with Prospect I didn’t know for definite what I wanted to be. I’d of probably just ended up being a bog standard mechanic. Now I’ve got a chance to do an ATA, I’m going to get recognised. It’s so much better than I expected.