Cameron - Apprentice Technician

What made you decide to take up an Apprenticeship at Vines Group?

The Vines Group provides a diverse, high quality automotive brand including all combustion, hybrid and fully electric vehicles providing the opportunity to learn and work on a wide variety of vehicles of which is a strong advantage over other competitor automotive brands.

How did you apply?

Originally I came across the Apprenticeship proposal online whilst on an apprentice/job website and was successfully able to apply via an online application.

What's involved in Apprenticeship?

The Apprenticeship involves the opportunity to experience a practical learning environment providing a 'hands on' approach to learning, as well as the opportunity to attend the BMW Group Academy; of which provides detailed theory in an in-depth lesson format to make you progress towards achieving the desired qualification or career path.

What is your favourite part of the Apprenticeship?

My favourite aspect of the Apprenticeship is the hands on approach working within the work environment; gaining respect from fellow colleagues and gaining independence gradually after shadowing a college or mentor for a variety of tasks.

Do you have to complete tests and coursework? If so, how often?

Every week block you attend at the BMW Group Academy a progression test presented to every apprentice to track progress but the significant assessments are tested each year as you pass through the gateway. Coursework is also set by them, but it is pre-coursework in order to provide an understanding of an aspect or two in preparation of the detailed presentation of information at college every two months or so.

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Ewan - Guildford Apprentice Technician

What made you decide to take up an Apprenticeship at Vines Group?

I decided to do my apprenticeship at Vines because I really wanted to start working in the motor trade. I had put my application in and then my CV. Also my dad used to work here and he would tell me how good the training is. The training from BMW is considered to be the best you can get in the motor trade which therefore will lead to a very successful career.

How did you apply?

I applied by looking on the website and filling all the details and uploading my CV. Then it said that I met the requirements which was great and then I waited to hear about any positions available. I received an email from BMW asking me to attend an interview. I did the interview and then after that I did a 1 week trial to see if I fitted the requirements in the workshop.

What’s involved in Apprenticeship?

My favourite part of the apprenticeship is learning new skills everyday. For example 1 day could be servicing and the other day could be diagnostic which is good because then I'm getting a good mixture of everything. Also the fun had in the workshop always makes it a good atmosphere. Another thing is going to the BMW Group Academy, that's always good because you learn how things work in detail. Also the food is good!

Do you have to complete tests and coursework? If so how often?

Every 8 weeks roughly, we go to the BMW Group Academy in Reading. This is where we learn the theory side of it. Before we go we have pre-coursework which is where we have a load of topics to look at and then answer questions about. We have tests at the end of the first year then the second and then we have more at the very end of the 3 years. Also whilst we are up at the academy we get little tests to test our knowledge about the topic we are studying.

Vines BMW Apprentice Story

Sin - Gatwick Apprentice Technician

What made you decide to take up an Apprenticeship at Vines Group?

I only ever wanted to work on BMW cars. They are a bit of an obsession of mine. Vines group themselves are an amazing company that truly treat you as an individual, yet we're all one big family. I love that they push you to succeed and every success is celebrated. It's always busy here and opportunities to progress in your career are encouraged. The people I work with are incredible. I'm surrounded by some of the most talented people in the industry and yet we are never too busy to take care of one another and have a giggle.

How did you apply?

I chased for work experience here which was very valuable to me, as it gave a me real insight into a real workshop and how it all ran. I attended every open event they ran, such as apprenticeship evening at Vines and at my college. I then applied directly through BMW website as soon as the opportunity came up.. My advice is get out there. Ask lots of questions and get yourself involved.

What’s involved in an Apprenticeship?

Accept that you know nothing ;) I'm kidding. It involves complete commitment from you. You're going to be very lucky if you make it through selection process, and if you do, appreciate it. You will be given a mentor who will be there to teach and guide you.

Never be afraid to say you don't understand or you don't know. Push yourself. You'll go away every few weeks to the BMW academy, which is amazing! There you will be taught lots of theory and have some days in their workshop. Remember you are representing your dealership there. Take pride in that.

Keep on top of your studies and coursework. Your on the job training day to day is where you'll gain experience and make sure you use your time wisely. You need to learn quickly as the workshop moves fast. You'll start off with very basic things and fine tune your skills gradually.

What is your favourite part of the Apprenticeship?

Literally all of it. You learn something new every hour on the job. All the techs around me are living, walking librarys of information. I get to see some pretty incredible cars come in and out of the workshop, including some very rare ones. I love how supportive everyone is and how professional they all are. Going to the academy is great. It's a chance to really see just how much you are progressing and the tutors there want you to do well.

Every morning I go to work in a place where I am extremely happy, where I'll never stop learning, and I'm surrounded by awesome people. People who are fast becoming like family to me. Ultimately I am being trained to fix the most beautiful cars in the world....it doesn't get any better than that.

Do you have to complete tests and coursework? If so how often?

Yes. You are given coursework by the academy to complete online at home between visits. You are also given assignments by your CPA to complete on the job, with your mentors help. As long as you stay on top of things there really isn't that much to do. It's all a vital part of your apprenticeship and helps show your progression. Staying organised is crucial so that they are all completed on time and correctly. You will take exams at the end of year one, two and three, and you'll have all the support you need to get you through them.

Vines BMW Apprentice Story

Brandon- Gatwick Customer Service Apprentice

What made you decide to take up an Apprenticeship at Vines Group?

I chose this apprenticeship at Vines because I wanted to join the Motor Trade, but I wasn’t interested in becoming a Technician. I enjoyed helping customers at my previous job and gained a good knowledge about vehicles at college and found the Service Adviser role which covered both of these aspects. I heard a lot of great things about the apprenticeship course that were better than others and I knew this was the apprenticeship for me.

How did you apply?

I applied through Indeed.com where the job was published.

What’s involved in an Apprenticeship?

With the apprenticeship you learn a lot about the vehicles and the customers at the Retailer and at the BMW Group Academy where the training takes place. You learn a lot about BMW as a brand and its history and of course about your role in the Retailer and how to improve your skills with customers.

What is your favourite part of the Apprenticeship?

My favourite part of the apprenticeship is the friends you meet and spend your apprenticeship with. I have made some serious lifelong friends, even though we are all from different parts of the UK.

Do you have to complete tests and coursework? If so, how often?

There are no tests on the apprenticeship for Customer Services in Aftersales. The course is all based on coursework, whether its standard question sets or learner forms which require evidence from your Retailer. Once the coursework is completed for the course you then qualify in your role. The coursework is sent out at the end of every block week you attend at the BMW Group Academy and it’s all based on what you have learnt during that week there.

Vines BMW Apprentice Story