When visiting Roger Young in Saltash, you can’t help but be impressed by the beautiful cars, stunning showrooms and organised state-of-the-art service areas. The dealership has grown massively since it first opened its doors in 1984, now employing 130 workers and enjoying the title of one of the most successful businesses in the network, winning multiple awards for sales and customer satisfaction. We caught up with Darren Hardy, Service Director at Roger Young, to find out more about what apprentices can offer to the business.
“Technology has advanced significantly in cars – when we look for apprentices we no longer need to find someone who can only fix engines and change tyres. We now need to recruit people who are technically minded and confident with computer systems. If we hired a qualified mechanic we would still need to train them to get to grips with our cars’ complex technology; with an apprentice, we can start the hands-on training young so they can grow with the business and keep up with the developments in our cars.
“We look for the best when we hire apprentices; those who are enthusiastic, have a great attitude and most importantly have a genuine interest in cars as these often make the best technicians. Apprentices are the future of the industry – youngsters often just need to be given an opportunity to excel. It is enjoyable to see our apprentices grow and their skills develop and we aim to keep them on once they complete their qualification. We offer a variety of in-house courses once they finish their apprenticeship to keep their training up-to-date and to ensure they are constantly growing professionally.
“We’ve worked with Skills Group for approximately 7 years as its style of training, with apprentices spending one day a week at its premises instead of block training, suits our needs. We also have a good relationship with the team.
“We’ve employed around 15 apprentices so far, and will continue to in the future”.
I always struggled in school as I wasn’t very academic, so knew learning on the job would be a better option for me. I would find it difficult to get up for 9am but now I wake up and look forward to my day. I wanted to try a hair apprenticeship as I’ve always been interested in hairdressing, and by the end of the first week, I already loved it!
I have developed a range of new skills through work including the technical, industry skills required for the job, to personal development such as ensuring I am always on time. The biggest change since leaving school is adjusting to the independence you gain from earning a salary. My advice to anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship would be find what you like doing, and go for it!
Since starting the apprenticeship, I’ve become far more confident. In a classroom, you only interact with your classmates, but through working you develop your people skills as you interact with customers on a daily basis. At school, you are closely monitored and parented, however I am now more independent and feel grown up
The most important thing I’ve learnt since leaving school is that there are other routes to success than just academia. I failed my GCSEs, as I never suited the school environment. Now though, I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship as I’ve discovered I learn more through hands-on practice.
I would just like to thank you and your team for all the amazing work they do, you have provided me with the most invaluable experience which has helped to pave the way of my future. The work you do for young people is incredible!