National Apprenticeship Week – Day Three – What Is an Apprenticeship with Nationwide Really Like?

March 08, 2017

This week we are celebrating all things Apprenticeships and as part of International Women’s Day we had a ten minute toolbox talk with one of our Female Apprentices Kyra Mills.

Kyra is our Paint Apprentice, part of the team at NCRC Nottingham and she is currently working towards her Level 2 NVQ with GTG, one of Nationwide training partners.

We started off asking Kyra about how she decided to choose a Paint Apprenticeship with Nationwide:

“My Dad is really big on cars and I have always helped him out from a young age.  When I left college I knew I wanted to do an Apprenticeship because it is more hands on, less writing and classroom work. Once I found out I could do an Apprenticeship in Paint with Nationwide it jumped out to me and immediately it was something I knew would be for me and thought I’d be really good at.

What I like about my Apprenticeship is the workshop environment, the noise and the people. We work as a team, even from when I first started. All the painters decided to wear these t-shirts that show that they are ‘team paint’ in the workshop, and the other painters bought me one. It was really nice and it made really feel a real part of their team.

We went on to ask Kyra about what working life as an Apprentice is like in a busy bodyshop environment;

‘When working in the bodyshop, I have an assigned mentor but quite often I work with all of the four painters we have at Nottingham. If it is something new I’m working on, or if I’m not sure of how to do something, then my mentor shows me what to do. If it’s something like prepping for primer or paint and he’s already shown me how to do it then he’ll just tell me what needs doing and then let me do it independently or supervise me making sure I’m doing it right.

‘What is great is my mentor talks through what I have to do so it’s not just a demonstration, he’ll explain it so I know how to do it practically but go into detail about the terminology and make sure I understand the reasons for doing it that way.

‘Since I first started, my Apprenticeship involves more spraying now, I’ve learnt the processes of prep for paint and primer so now I’ve started to go into the booths and spray a lot more. I’ve defiantly improved and my confidence in doing it has improved also. At the start it all was something totally new, in a new environment and with new equipment that I’ve never used before - it’s a lot to get used to but I’m defiantly more confident now.

Part of the Nationwide Apprenticeship Programme includes classroom based learning that is carried out at a College or Training Provider;

‘On the Apprenticeship I got to college on block release every few weeks and we do classroom learning there. It involves a lot of Health and Safety because that’s key to the job, but also learn about the equipment and tools that MET and Panel Technicians would use, gaining knowledge that isn’t just based around paint.

As a young female working in a bodyshop I feel totally accepted and very much a part of the team. If there are any other females who want to do an apprenticeship then I would say don’t let anything stop them, you don’t get treated any differently.

I think joining the Apprenticeship programme is the best thing I’ve ever done to be honest. Though going to the college I’ve got to meet lots of new people who work in different branches across the country and things like traveling on my own, they are all new experiences that I would have never done if I wasn’t doing this Apprenticeship.’

Throughout National Apprenticeship Week we will be talking all things apprenticeships at Nationwide. Keep an eye on Nationwide’s Social Media and join in by liking, following and sharing:

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