EIGHTEEN-year-old Katie Briggs didn’t like school or college, and struggled with confidence, before she found out about apprenticeships.

Now, after a career change, the Light Vehicle apprentice Technician from Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, has found her ‘place’ with Lindleys Autocentres and with the support of Remit Group is looking ahead to a lifelong career in the motor industry.

“I originally went to college after school to do a completely different course,” said Katie. “I’d chosen animal science because I love animals and really wanted to work with them. I enjoyed my part-time work in a vets, but I really didn’t get on with the course and was always scared to go in. It wasn’t for me.”

“In the past I’d done work experience at Rolls Royce as I was interested in the engineering side of things, it’s what my Dad does. As much as I loved what they were doing, it was hard, and I wasn’t so sure about it.”

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For some time, Katie has suffered with anxiety, a condition which was affected by both her work experience and college course. But, since starting her apprenticeship with Lindleys Autocentres at their Carlton branch, and working with the Automotive team from Remit Group, Katie is feeling so much better.

She says “It’s good here. It’s the best. I love having something practical to do, it keeps me focused. Working with my Apprentice Development Coach, Kev, from Remit and my mentor here, Lee, I feel I’ve really changed. We have a laugh, as well as working hard together to get the job done. We’re quite busy and I’m learning loads.

Katie splits her time between the busy workshop Lindleys and block release at Remit Group’s Automotive Academy in Derby.

“I do find the training hard at the Remit Academy, I’m not someone who does well in a classroom. But they keep me interested, support me and there’s plenty of time in the workshop too. I get so much help and support from everyone, it’s been great.”

Nottinghamshire-based Lindleys Autocentres, is expanding and opening up new branches across the county. Its Carlton branch is managed by Rhea Lindley. Her support for Katie has also made a huge difference.

“It’s lovely here, I feel like I’ve really found my place. It’s like having a family. I really get on with the lads, but Rhea is here to support us all and she really knows what she’s doing with people. In a usually male dominated environment, it’s really nice to have two women in one branch. We all do really well together.”

Katie’s Manager, Rhea, said: “Katie’s fitted right in, we really are like a big family. She doesn’t take any nonsense from the lads and if she’s not sure about something, she’s happy to ask. Her confidence has come on leaps and bounds since she started her apprenticeship.

“The block release at the Academy is a good way to work. It means we don’t lose Katie once a week. Although she’s such an important part of the team now, we do miss her when she’s away doing her training. We now have two Remit apprentices at this branch and we’re so lucky with them, they’ve been fantastic and are a real example of what an apprentice should be.”

Katie sees her future in the motor industry and is looking forward to the opportunities it will present her with. She added: “My apprenticeship includes an air conditioning qualification, so once I’ve done my apprenticeship, I really want to get my MOT licence and an electronic course, so I can keep my skills up to date for modern and electric cars. I just want to be the best I can be.”

Remit Automotive Development Director, Mick Pilling, said: “We enjoy working with Lindleys and their apprentices. It’s a great family company and it’s easy to see Katie is really benefiting from the positive culture they instill into all of their branches.

“As a training provider we are always there to provide support to every one of our apprentices, whether it’s on a learning level or a personal one. Katie is a great example of someone who can make an apprenticeship work for them. Her confidence has grown, and she shows real potential. Not everyone enjoys a classroom environment, but Katie is a hard worker and is embracing her training. We’re really pleased to have her working with us.”

If you are looking to change your college course or your career, and would like to know more about automotive apprenticeships or how to become a Light Vehicle Technician, visit the website: https://remit.co.uk/automotive/