Abigael Snape – Motor Vehicle Apprentice
An apprenticeship offers you the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in an industry which interests you. For some, certain industries, careers or professions have always stood out, whereas others are less sure about what route is best for them.
Former Level 3 Motor Vehicle Apprentice, Abigael Snape, wasn’t sure what career path was best suited for her, but her engineer father and mechanic grandfather had sparked an interest in working practically. Knowing that she wanted to apply a hands-on approach to her work, Abigael applied for a Motor Vehicle course at North Notts College and hasn’t looked back since.
Having completed both the Level 1 and Level 2 College courses in Motor Vehicle, Abigael wanted to cement her future career as a mechanic, whilst continuing her education, and applied for an apprenticeship at North Notts College.
We recently sat down with Abigael to talk about life as an apprentice, where she discussed why she felt the apprenticeship route was best for her.
She said: “An apprenticeship was the easiest way to secure a job after completing my education and I felt that I could take my trade to the next level by gaining first-hand work experience in the industry.”
Now a full-time mechanic at HM Wainwright’s Service and MOT Centre, where she completed her work-based training, Abigael’s decision to opt for an apprenticeship has paid off. She is now an integral part of the family-run business, where she takes on a host of different tasks such as handling MOTs, servicing and repairing vehicles and seeing to customers.
Looking back on her training, where she worked four days a week and attended College one day a week, she was quick to pay tribute to the learning process that her apprenticeship offered.
She said: “When I first came to the garage, I started off shadowing the more experienced mechanics which gave me the opportunity to learn new skills and techniques. As I progressed through my apprenticeship and combined work experience with knowledge, I eventually started servicing cars on my own and got my own ramp and tools.
“I’m still in the early stages of my career as a mechanic and I’m still learning new things every day, but my apprenticeship and my employers have really helped me in my development and made me a better, more confident person and mechanic.”
Personal development and acquiring the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed in a given industry are central to apprenticeships. Through a combination of tutor and employer support, an apprentice boosts their development on two fronts.
Abigael commented on this, saying: “Being at work is different from college, as I am working with real clients and gaining real experience. College provided me with the knowledge that I need and work provides the experience. It’s a really good balance.”
As we finished our catch-up with Abigail, we asked her how she thought an apprenticeship can help people reach their dream careers.
She said: “An apprenticeship offers you the chance to mould an education with a career. You don’t have to balance or prioritise a job or your training, you can actually combine them.
“At College, the tutors and staff were really helpful and supportive, as they helped me with assignments, trade techniques or if I was struggling with anything. At work, I was given the opportunity to learn from industry-experienced professionals and watch their skills and know-how first-hand.
“In summary, I’d say that apprenticeships don’t just open the door for a career, they make sure that you take a step through that door…”