Alton apprentice day a huge success

About 400 young people attended an apprentice open day hosted by Alton Cars, Leeds, on Saturday, 11 March.

Among the sponsors, 3M showed off the technology that is within the crash repair industry these days.

Teenagers aged between 15 and 18 were invited to try their hands at a range of tasks, from polishing and finishing vehicle panels, colour-matching, welding and riveting to mechanical, electrical and trim work, as well as learning about other areas of the trade, such as customer service and price estimating.

Helen Marsden, 3M key account manager for Alton Cars, said, ‘We know how important apprentice schemes are to both young people and employers, so we want to do everything we can to encourage them – something we also do through our partnership with the organisation WorldSkills.

‘Unfortunately, the number of young people entering the accident repair industry has been in decline in recent years, so when Alton Cars asked us if we could help with this event we were only too happy to do so.

‘It was really encouraging to see so many young people so enthusiastic about the trade. Everyone seemed to really enjoy being hands-on and testing the equipment. I have no doubt that many of them will have bright futures in this profession.’

The apprentice open day was the first such event to be held by Alton Cars, which operates 10 accident repair centres across Yorkshire, Humberside, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Neilson Jones, group commercial director at Alton Cars Group, said, ‘There’s been a lack of investment in apprentices across the industry recently, but we’ve realised it’s time to devote more resources to this, in order to assure the longevity of our business.

‘Our apprentice open day was an amazing event with a great turnout, and we’re extremely grateful to 3M for their involvement.’