Michael Chambers, a 22 year old bodyshop apprentice employed by Fix Auto Croydon, was announced as the winner of the first ever AutoRaise Apprentice of the Year Award at the recent British Bodyshop Awards.
“This is the most amazing and exciting experience I have ever had and I am very pleased to be the winner of this Award,” said Chambers.
“I really enjoy working for Fix Auto Croydon and am grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to join the AutoRaise apprenticeship programme. I have learnt so much already and am excited at the prospect of obtaining my ATA accreditations.”
Rachel McGuiness, bodyshop manager, Fix Auto Croydon said: “We are really proud that Michael has won the first ever AutoRaise Apprentice of the Year Award. He has totally grasped the opportunity and we are all benefitting from the range of new skills he has already acquired. He is definitely on his way to a very successful career.”
He joined Fix Auto Croydon in September 2012 as a trainee panel beater and was part of the first cohort of students to join the specialist AutoRaise multi-skilled Vehicle Collision Repair apprenticeship offered by Barking & Dagenham College in September 2013.
Attending training at SC Body & Paint in Enfield one day a week, and with the support of the team at Fix Auto Croydon, he is on his way to attaining the IMI-accredited Multi-Skill Diploma at Level 2 this year and will then progress to Level 3 and the potential of three senior ATA qualifications in Panel, Paint and MET by the end of 2015.
The AutoRaise apprenticeship and business improvement programme is the brainchild of Chris Oliver, managing director of Fix Auto Dagenham and chair of the National Association of Bodyshops, who joined with Barking & Dagenham College to develop the employer-led programme to meet the changing needs of the body repair industry.
AutoRaise, with numbers already approaching 75 apprentices, is offered through the Employer Ownership of Skills pilot funded by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Skills Funding Agency (SFA).