News : Classic apprenticeships unveiled

Electrical apprentice Tom Smallman (21) from Bridgnorth, Shropshire, who works for classic car restorers Classic Motor Cars Ltd, fitting some crossover for the audio speakers in a Jaguar XK150 roadster.
Electrical apprentice Tom Smallman (21) from Bridgnorth, Shropshire, who works for classic car restorers Classic Motor Cars Ltd, fitting some crossover for the audio speakers in a Jaguar XK150 roadster

The Guild of Specialist Engineers has set up a new apprenticeship programme, which will see many more young people in the UK working with historic transport.

The Guild has recently been set up to represent and promote the interests of specialist engineers of classic cars and all forms of historic motorised transportation. It has been founded by an established group of specialist engineers in the field of classic and race-car restoration and preparation.

The Apprenticeship Programme has been developed for the Guild and its members by Roger Waters, Chairman of the Motor Manufacturers’ Technical Training Conference, and Clive Temple, Director of the Post Graduate Motorsport Engineering Programme at Cranfield University.

It will be matched to the specific requirements and specialisation of its members. It encourages the handing on of specialist technical craft skills unique to the ‘historic vehicle’ industry.

Guild Chairman, Eddie Hoare, said: ‘This is a major step forward in ensuring that young people are encouraged to enter the world of classic cars and other historic engineering, which accounts for billions of pounds worth of revenue to the UK economy.’

He added: ‘The Guild recognises the need to promote the industry to a new generation of aspiring engineers. Passing on technological knowledge and craft skills is crucial if we are to preserve our automotive heritage. It was vital, therefore, to put into place an Apprenticeship Programme appropriate to the needs of our members and I am delighted that this will now be a reality. The training will be unique in providing the carefully structured learning of skills bespoke to classic and sports car maintenance and restoration.

‘Apprenticeships are a hot topic within politics right now. This programme will benefit the career prospects of 16-19 year old aspiring engineers. The training will be provided by Babcock International. As Jay Leno said: ‘Keeping the knowledge passed on to younger generations is crucial if we are to preserve our automotive past.”‘

Keith Adams
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  1. Perhaps they will tell them what grease nipples are. About 23 years ago (!), I had a new ball joint fitted to a Viva by a Vauxhall dealer. The mechanic assumed it was greased for life – result being that the joint only lasted a week.

  2. Will they teach them about left handed screwdrivers and being sent to the stores for a long stand and a tin of striped paint?

  3. Excellent news! This means that new apprentices will learn what a cartburettor is, how it works and how to get the best balance between fuel mixture and emissions; neither of which most apprentices dealing with new cars seem conversant with.

    The joy of swapping a plug-in module for needles, points and a condenser. Bring it on!

  4. An interesting prospect but i see no mention of the scheme been endorsed by the sector skills council the IMI so will this be an industry wide recognized qualification without their endorsement or just recognized by a few companies a bit like a company a while ago who trained technicians to level II and III at their training centre only for the staff to be told when that company went out of business that their qualifications where meaningless i look forward to finding out more information

  5. It is good to read of such initiatives but there is always a problem with schemes like this – and that is the individuality of the apprentices. About four years ago my son’s company (at the very top end of vintage restoration) took on an apprentice. This young lad was as wayward as most at that age but he has settled down and is now a great asset and valued member of the company. During the last year or so the company took on another young lad. He started very promisingly but very soon developed a deplorable attitude and he had to go. It is tuff for employers who really want to get these young lads involved but the costs in terms of training down time alone is significant and their competence level is all important.
    Any schemes like this must be welcomed but the raw material is from our schools, many of which still believe that all students want to be computer games programmers or go into the leisure industry!

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