Sunderland teenager swaps suit for overalls at South Shields car dealership

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart

Ian Stewart is a young man who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty.

The ambitious 18-year-old has swapped collar and tie for overalls at Lookers Ford Direct’s South Shields dealership.

It’s really great to have been given this opportunity with a company so heavily focussed on apprenticeships and developing skills and knowledge.

Ian Stewart

Ian, from Farringdon, Sunderland, began working as a full-time parts advisor within the busy parts department at the Newcastle Road dealership after leaving school at 16.

Partial to getting his hands a little dirty and keen to learn just how everything works underneath the bonnet, he has now been given the opportunity to transfer to the service department to embark on an apprenticeship - with the aim of becoming a motor vehicle technician.

Ian’s father, Ian Stewart senior, is also employed by the company and works as a parts delivery driver at the same dealership.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working in the parts department and working with my Dad was obviously an added bonus, but it’s always intrigued me how everything works underneath the bonnet of a car,” siad Ian.

“I’d heard about the apprenticeship programme, but I wasn’t sure how it all worked and what it entailed, until I had a chat with service manager, Duncan Oliver, who explained everything to me, and I just knew it was the perfect opportunity for me and the right path I needed to take.”

As an apprentice, the next three years will see Ian working alongside Ford trained and approved technicians within the service department, where he will gain valuable hands on experience through on-the-job training, in addition to completing a variety of practical and theory sessions and working towards achieving nationally recognised qualifications.

“It’s really great to have been given this opportunity with a company so heavily focussed on apprenticeships and developing skills and knowledge,” he said.

At the end of the three years, Ian will become a fully trained and qualified Ford motor vehicle technician, whose responsibilities will include servicing vehicles to Ford standards, repairing and replacing parts and components, liaising with the team of service advisors, replacements and required parts, as well as diagnosing and repair.

Duncan Oliver, service manager at Lookers Ford Direct, said: “Ian is very keen and a quick learner. I’m confident he’ll successfully complete and thoroughly enjoy the apprenticeship programme.”