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You’re hired! Kieran’s on right road as apprentice

27/10/2011

Garage boss James Munday started life as an apprentice and is now passing on his knowledge to others. The director of Sheffield & Meredith – an independent Volvo specialist in Upper King Street, Leicester – employs two apprentices, including latest recruit Kieran McKinnon, 16.

The teenager from Medina Road, Leicester, is two months into a three-year apprenticeship with the firm, having left school in the summer. He found out about apprenticeships when careers advisers from Connexions visited his school to talk to students about their options.

Now, he is spending one day a week with Leicester College as a mechanical apprentice studying for an NVQ, and the rest learning the tools of the trade at Sheffield & Meredith.

James said: “l was an apprentice myself so I know that’s the best way to learn this trade. It’s hands on and it’s practical, but you learn much faster that way. “Kieran’s only been with us a few months, but he’s already made an impression.”He gets on with the task at hand and he applies his own common sense to whatever he’s doing. He stood out because he’s obviously got a lot of enthusiasm for the job. It’s not really something you can learn in a classroom and he was really keen to come in and get stuck in.”

Once his three years are up, Kieran will be qualified to level three of his NVQ. He said: “l’m learning skills for life. I really didn’t want to carry on at school – learning in the classroom just isn’t for me. “l’ve always been into cars and when I found out there was an apprenticeship I could do it sounded perfect. So far I’m really enjoying it.”

The Mercury has launched a Working Together campaign to raise the profile of apprenticeships. We have teamed up with the National Apprenticeship Service to make sure school leavers are aware of their options and that employers realise the benefits of taking on an apprentice.

Among those supporting our campaign is Connexions, the careers service. It offers impartial information, advice and support to young people, and the opportunity to talk over their options. Staff are also able to help with applications, whether for a job or a college course.

Every school has a Connexions adviser, and there are also offices in Leicester, South Wigston, Loughborough, Coalville, Melton Mowbray and Hinckley.