THIS INDUSTRY TAKES SOME BEATING
Quite simply, the Vehicle Repair industry is what drives Britain! From Minis to Porsches, from motorbikes to camper vans, from taxis to lorries and emergency vehicles, we repair accident damage to the highest manufacturer's safety standards to get drivers back on the road with the minimum of disruption.
Bodyshop owners invest heavily in the latest equipment, ongoing technical training and customer service initiatives to ensure their high standards are maintained and consumers kept happy.
This is a high-volume industry, with some big repairers processing over 100 cars every week. Join us and you could help make it all happen, working on prestige brands like Mercedes-Benz, Audi or Rolls-Royce - or repairing cars for customers of big insurers like LV=, Direct Line and Aviva.
It takes many different people to run a bodyshop and they are not all technicians. With admin staff, finance assistants and managers equally as valued as technicians, there really is a place for everyone in Vehicle Repair.
FOLLOW YOUR OWN ROAD
From initial contact with customers, through assessment and repair of their vehicle, to handing back the keys, any vehicle repairer needs a team of specialist employees to carry out the necessary work. Consequently, there are various paths you can take to become a cog in this well-oiled machine.
Single-skill Apprenticeships allow you to focus on one area of particular interest or you can go down the multi-skill route, experiencing all workshop skills with the option to qualify for advanced Automotive Technician Accreditation. Many employers offer administration and business Apprenticeships too.
Example job roles
VEHICLE DAMAGE ASSESSOR
A Vehicle Damage Assessor's job is to methodically and accurately inspect and assess all elements of a light motor vehicle that has sustained damage and requires repair. This can range from small external body damage to heavily impacted vehicles with internal, structural or mechanical damage. VDA's work in modern, highly technical bodyshops and use electronic software to produce the detailed repair specifications that technicians use to carry out the required repairs. They need to have excellent communications skills and be able to discuss and agree the appropriate repair specifications and costs with customers.
Panel Technicians specialise in repairing or replacing damaged panels. While major damage requires new panels to be fitted, many smaller dents and scratches can be repaired to as good a standard as new by combining the technician's skill with modern equipment and repair techniques. A Panel Technician's duties include working to detailed instructions from a Vehicle Damage Assessor, or assessing the damage and making a repair decision themselves, depending on how their bodyshop operates. Specialist Panel Technicians act as part of the wider repair team to ensure work is carried out to standard and in the timescale required.
Responsible for the finishing of whole panels, panel sections, wheels, or even a car's entire bodywork, Spray Painters are highly skilled in all aspects of preparation, paint and finishing. They use high-tech paints, lacquers and equipment to perform manufacturer standard work to return a vehicle to the quality of specification it had when it left the factory. Spray Painters can be required to work on a broad range of vehicles from cars, vans and motorcycles to light commercial vehicles. Specialist Paint Technicians act as part of the wider repair team to ensure work is carried out to standard and in the timescale required.
MECHANICAL ELECTRICAL TRIM (MET) TECHNICIAN
Mechanical & Electrical Trim (MET) Technicians are responsible for identifying damaged mechanical and electrical components on vehicles and removing and refitting such components before and after the vehicle is repainted / refinished. They will often use welding or soldering equipment in their repair work and have an extensive knowledge of the complex systems in modern vehicles. They will be responsible for installing new components in situations where repair is not appropriate. When a vehicle is refitted, the MET Technician will also ensure everything is in full and safe working order.
Multi-Skilled Technicians repair all elements of a vehicle after it has sustained some type of collision damage. This ranges from minor damage through to heavily impacted types of damage requiring complex and detailed repair or replacement of major structural elements of the vehicle. Typically, they work in a modern, highly technical workshop environment, working on a broad range of vehicles from cars, vans and motorcycles to light commercial vehicles. Multi-Skilled Technicians are able to interpret and work accurately to detailed and complex technical repair instructions and work in a focused, analytical and methodical fashion to get their repairs completed “right first time”.
CUSTOMER SERVICE ASSISTANT
Part of the “customer-facing” team, Customer Service Assistants engage with customers and work providers. From initial booking-in, meeting and greeting and communicating repair progress, to liaising with insurers and claims management companies and organising courtesy cars, CSA's work as part of the wider team to enable workflow and ensure the end client is kept happy. Depending on the size of bodyshop or group they can also be involved in marketing the business, writing Press Releases, operating social media channels and general communication.
Finance Assistants work under the instruction of a Finance Manager or Director, helping to ensure the financial side of the business runs smoothly. Skilled in accountancy and administration, FA's duties include producing and processing customer / work provider invoices, paying invoices received by their employer, chasing payments and administering payroll. As part of their wider finance team, they can also be involved in decisions that streamline the operation of the business to ensure optimum efficiency, profit and operating security.
Bodyshop Managers are responsible for the smooth running of Vehicle Repairs. They oversee all specialist areas and ensure that repairs are being carried out as effectively and promptly as possible. Duties may include negotiating contracts with material suppliers, monitoring the quality and efficiency of work, supporting team members day-to-day work and training, maintaining equipment and ensuring regular services and maintenance checks are monitored, recruiting personnel and directing team members in handling day to day problems. It takes a special set of skills to manage a bodyshop and most Bodyshop Managers have come up through the ranks (often from an apprenticeship beginning) so have extensive knowledge of all aspects of the Vehicle Repair process.
Interested in Vehicle Repair but not old enough to start an apprenticeship yet? 13-15 year olds can enrol with an affiliated repairer as an AutoRaise Cadet and enjoy a programme of mentoring, industry-specific education, work experience and classroom-style assignments - all designed to prepare you for a future apprenticeship.
AutoRaise provide a very supportive environment where you will get continuous help and encouragement to pursue your chosen career path. When you are ready to leave full time education, you will be prepared - motivated, knowledgeable and with an understanding of the workplace and what your employer expects of you.
LEVEL 2 MULTI-SKILLED APPRENTICESHIP
A unique opportunity to attain Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) qualifications in Mechanical, Electrical and Trim (MET), Panel and Paint in a single programme, with the option of going on to specialise in a single skill at Level 3.
LEVEL 2 AND LEVEL 3 PANEL TECHNICIAN APPRENTICESHIP
Assess the level of damage on the vehicle, make decisions on whether the vehicle is repairable, remove damaged panels, repair damaged panels and chassis. Also inform customers of work carried out and any additional work required.
LEVEL 2 AND LEVEL 3 MECHANICAL ELECTRICAL TRIM APPRENTICESHIP
Identifying, removing and refitting damaged mechanical and electrical components on vehicles, using welding and soldering equipment and ensuring the vehicle is in working order.
LEVEL 2 AND LEVEL 3 PAINT TECHNICIAN APPRENTICESHIP
Preparing vehicles to be painted after damage has occurred, ensuring all parts have been stripped from the vehicle, sanding down relevant areas, adjoining areas for blending, masking, etching and priming areas to be treated and selecting, matching and mixing colour.
THE AUTORAISE CHARITY
AutoRaise, the Vehicle Repair industry’s charity, is committed to reversing the current skills shortage. We are working to present the Vehicle Repair industry to young people as a genuine alternative to other employment opportunities, further education or university.
As such, AutoRaise promotes a range of Apprenticeship paths to bring new blood into the industry today, ensuring the qualified talent of tomorrow.
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