7 September 2016

Teenagers interested in learning how motor vehicles work are being offered real hands-on experience at Buxton & Leek College’s £1 million specialist training centre at Harpur Hill, Buxton.

After building their own kit car from scratch last year, this year’s students will be taking apart and rebuilding a Land Rover as well as working with the local fire and rescue service to adapt trucks for training.

One-year full time courses at the Harpur Hill centre offer Level 1 Motor Vehicle Technologies as well as more advanced Level 2 and 3 qualifications and, with local garages lining up to take on apprentices, there are guaranteed jobs for successful students.

Curriculum Leader Stephanie Traynor said:

“Our kit car project last year proved a great opportunity for our students to put their skills to the test and showcase their talents. The car was on display at Bakewell Show and also won a prize at the Buxton Carnival this year.

“Now our students are to tackle a fresh project to rebuild a Land Rover including all the electrics as well as the chassis and bodywork. We try to include as much hands-on experience as possible in all our motor vehicle courses and, with Swains Go Karting right on our doorstep, there will be opportunities to work on Go Karts and then test them out on the track.”

Garages in Leek, Buxton, Bakewell, Ripley, Whaley Bridge and New Mills have recruited apprentices from Buxton & Leek College with trainees under 24 years old learning on the job at local garages for 30 hours per week and spending a day each week at the Harpur Hill Training Centre.

College Motor Vehicle Assessor Graham Vernon said:

“Motor mechanics used to be looked upon as a dirty fingernail profession but it’s now very high tech as modern vehicles are repaired and serviced using computer diagnostic equipment.

“We’ve got opportunities for trainees to work on both light and heavy vehicles and they could go on to further training to qualify as MOT testers. There is certainly no shortage of work for trained technicians and the career path is there for young trainees to take and progress as far as they want to. Job security comes guaranteed.”

Buxton & Leek College boasts industry standard facilities, comprehensive support services, and a team of dedicated staff who take pride in supporting students towards their study and career goals.

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