BB Body Repairers signs Axalta Apprentice

BB Body Repairers, a well-established bodyshop based in Dumfries, Scotland, has signed its newest trainee up to the Paint and Refinish Apprenticeship Programme from Axalta Coating Systems. Tom Beattie, the bodyshop’s owner, explains why the advantages of Axalta’s Apprentice Programme were the driver behind the decision and what he believes the choice will bring to his business.

‘BB Body Repairers was established in 1976, and we’ve grown considerably since then. We employ 23 people and have a good reputation thanks to the fact we pride ourselves on offering a high-quality service and workmanship delivered by competent, well-trained staff. We have always liked to recruit people starting out in their careers but training them can be complex and time-consuming, and there isn’t much in the way of formal training available locally. So when I heard about Axalta’s Paint and Refinish Apprenticeship Programme, I was immediately interested. Trainees spend three years on the programme, including a total of 54 days training at the Axalta Training Academy in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, and when on site at their own bodyshops, they are regularly mentored, monitored and assessed by a dedicated development coach. This sounded like an ideal arrangement, so we signed up our latest trainee, Jake Mckie.’

Jake McKie, 21, worked as a valet in a local garage after leaving school and joined BB Body Repairers in January 2015. He plans to start on the Axalta Paint and Refinish Apprenticeship Programme later this year. The programme gives apprentices like Jake McKie the opportunity to achieve Level 2 and 3 full framework qualifications, and in the third year, he will be assessed for Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) at Senior Paint Technician Level.

‘Not only is this scheme a wonderful opportunity for any apprentice in terms of planning their career but from my point of view, as his employer, Jake will be trained to a high professional standard,’ said Tom Beattie. ‘At the Axalta Training Academy, he’ll be using the latest technology and will be taught skills and techniques that he can bring back to our bodyshop and share with the rest of the team. He will have a fresh viewpoint and an enthusiasm, which will hopefully be infectious. We can’t wait for him to get started.’

Anthony Cashel, marketing manager for Axalta Coating Systems in the UK and Ireland, says, ‘the Axalta Paint and Refinish Apprenticeship Programme is ideal for bodyshops like BB Body Repairers who are committed to boosting the industry by taking on young people, and who also want to benefit from the high quality of training and expertise that our programme offers. Apprentices who successfully complete the training programme will have been taught how to work quickly and productively and should then be able to fill any potential skills gap. They can also introduce new techniques and technologies to their bodyshops that have been designed to increase productivity.’

Apprentices are currently being invited to apply for the 2015 training programme. Any bodyshop interested in taking on an apprentice, or anyone wishing to join the training scheme, can register their interest at www.axalta.co.uk/apprenticeship-programme. Alternatively they can contact Charlotte Coombes at Axalta Coating Systems on, 01707 518009 and a free information pack will be sent out.