Adult Learner Alumnus Secures Job with Mercedes-Benz!
My name is Rob, and I’m a Weston College adult learner alumnus. I studied a Level 3 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair. I decided to go to Weston College to complete my training as they offered a standalone Level 3 course in Mechanics, which suited me perfectly as I was already Level 2 qualified. The course was also only a year, which allowed me to get back into my mechanics career sooner.
Completing the course with Weston opened opportunities I otherwise wouldn’t have been offered, due to their close working relationships with companies. This was how I was able to begin networking with Mercedes-Benz, which resulted in being offered a full-time position at the company prior to even completing the course.
Through attending Weston College, I was also given the chance to compete in the WorldSkills competition. The experience was mind-blowing to say the least! I didn't think much of it at first as I was focused on my primary goal of becoming fully qualified and getting a job in a main dealer garage. It was my tutor, Steve, who made me aware of the competition and suggested I apply for it. His support was invaluable and I really felt that he believed in me which gave me the confidence to apply. I thought "What's the worst that can happen?" and that, if anything, it might be a bit of fun.
I applied for WorldSkills in March 2022. I registered online and completed an online test during my normal college hours. The test itself was quite challenging, encompassing everything you should know on completion of the Level 3 course. I received my results the same day but didn't know I had made it into the top thirty until about a month later.
When the day of the semi-finals came, I felt prepared until I got there, and then the nerves kicked in! I found it quite difficult to overcome my nerves at first but having my tutor, Steve, cheering me on from the sidelines was a great support. The group of competitors were all really supportive of one another. I ended the day on a high, with the last task going really well which boosted my confidence. There was a short wait for the results and when they called my name for second place, I couldn't believe it. I was overjoyed with what I had achieved!
Since finishing at the college and becoming Level 3 qualified, I started working at Mercedes-Benz, and I’m currently working towards my maintenance technician qualification as well as an air conditioning qualification. I have also just been assigned my own apprentice to teach the trade to, who previously gained his Level 2 also at Weston. This involves providing guidance in different tasks and overseeing the work that he undertakes to enable him to progress to the next level.
The day-to-day involves working on cars which require prepping, ready to be sold. This requires me to conduct a thorough inspection of the vehicle, through which I identify and rectify any faults. Each day is varied, and no two days are ever the same. Additionally, I conduct services and inspections on customer cars. I couldn’t have reached where I am now without Weston College, and my tutor Steve, both of which provided invaluable support which gave me the confidence to progress in my career to my current stage and beyond!