Following in her older brother's footsteps, Jessica chose to train as an automotive technician. Taken on as an apprentice by Toyota, she has gained experience in the workplace whilst continuing her studies at college.
What’s your name?
21 years old.
Where do you work?
Burrows Toyota in Doncaster.
What’s your job title?
I am an apprentice technician, soon to be a TEAM21 Toyota technician.
How long have you been doing that?
I have been working at Burrows Toyota for just over three years.
How did you get there?
I chose the apprenticeship route as I would gain experience in the workplace, whilst achieving my qualification. I applied on the Toyota website for my apprenticeship by filling out an online form and then I had to sit selection tests. I was then invited to an interview, after which I spent two days in the workshop. Having been successful at all these stages, I was offered the job.
I started my apprenticeship in August 2012, employed at Burrows Toyota and training at the Toyota Academy in Nottingham. I gained the skills and experience required to achieve my level 2 qualifications in September 2014 and since then I have been working towards completing my level 3 qualifications, which I’ve now almost completed.
What’s the day-to-day work like?
The work varies from day-to-day, from servicing to carrying out such things as clutch and engine repairs. Each day brings different challenges. Regular work consists of intermediate and major servicing on various models of Toyota, as well as servicing repairs such as brake replacement, tyre changes and air-conditioning services. I also carry out suspension repairs; replacing shock absorbers, drop links and coil springs and sometimes I will carry out diagnostic work.
What’s the best thing about the job?
The different challenges and variety of work, the satisfaction of keeping customers’ vehicles on the road.
And the worst?
Having to get up for work on a Saturday morning!
What stand-out occasions have you been involved with so far?
I would say so far my career highlight is getting second place in the Toyota & Lexus Apprentice of the Year Competition 2014.
How would you describe working life as a technician?
Rewarding: working with a great team and learning about new advancing technology, especially hybrid and new pre-crash safety.
What did you expect when you started work?
My elder brother is a motor vehicle technician, so I knew what to expect. However, the other technicians have really made me feel at home. Because I'm a girl I thought they would ‘bubble wrap’ me, but they didn't. They let me get on with it, but would help if I asked, which was brilliant.
Is there any advice you'd like to pass on to those about to enter the workplace?
Be prepared to work hard at both college and your workplace, but the rewards are definitely worth it.
What do you think you'll do next?
Next I’d like to work towards achieving my Toyota TEAM21 Pro Tech qualification.