RAC Academy apprenticeship graduates celebrate a bright ‘orange’ future

RAC Academy apprenticeship graduates celebrate a bright ‘orange’ future
A brand-new cohort of RAC patrols have secured the keys to their future after completing a 30-month apprenticeship scheme with the motoring services company.  

Eight apprentices from the RAC Academy celebrated their graduation from apprentice to roadside patrol at a ceremony in Walsall this week, joined by their patrol mentors, college staff and academy managers. 

Originally set up in 2015, the RAC relaunched its apprenticeship academy in November 2021 to help address the ongoing automotive industry skills gap, expected to hit a shortfall of nearly 160,000 vacancies by 2031*.

The new scheme sees the RAC partner with a series of colleges to coordinate the application process, interviewing candidates for the positions and conducting on-the-job training. 

In turn, the RAC provides dedicated mentors and managers to oversee the programme, ensuring the apprentices gain the skills and support they need to become fully fledged patrols at the UK’s longest established breakdown provider.  

The first eight graduates completed their Level 2 Vehicle and Maintenance Repair apprenticeships at North London Garages in Enfield, working three weeks in a month at the roadside and one week in the classroom. The new patrols are Tyreiss Burton, Kiesha Corbin, Jamie Riaz, Praneeth Rajapakse, James Barrall, Zaahir Patel, Haseeb Patel and Ronaldo Powlette.  

Patrol Kiesha Corbin said: “I joined the RAC Academy because I wanted to further my knowledge on motor vehicles and change my career entirely, after working as a nursery deputy for 10 years. The best part is no two days are the same – at first you start out attending tow work, and as you complete units on the course the issues get more complex.  

“To anyone thinking of joining the RAC, my advice is it’s a great place for learning. The training and support is fantastic and even though you’re out on your own in the van, you will always have support from your manager, mentor, apprentice peers and technical staff.”  

RAC Academy manager Tony Cullum said: “As long as there are cars on the road there’ll be a need for roadside technicians, so we want to help as many people as possible find their keys to success.

“Since starting their courses in November 2021, the commitment and ambition from all eight apprentices has been outstanding, perfectly demonstrating the high level of service we commit to providing for our members. We look forward to seeing them out on the road.”

Currently, the RAC Academy has 82 apprentices with courses either completed or in progress across eight different cohorts at North London Garages and S&B Automotive Academy, Bristol. Those interested in joining can apply via the respective websites. 

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* Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) Automotive sector employment report 2021 – 2031, page 11