As soon as I started working there, I loved it
YOUNG apprentice Jamie O'Brien has big dreams since he started being trained up as a mechanic at Redland's Luccombe Garage.
The 17-year-old was taken on in November 2011 after a tutor at City of Bristol College's Parkway Transport Technology Centre suggested he take up some work experience.
After leaving Ashton Park School with GCSE grades lower than he wanted, Jamie went on to the college to study mechanics.
"I did one year at college but I hadn't managed to do any work experience," said Jamie, who lives in Bishopston.
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"My tutor at the time managed to get me some work experience at Luccombe Garage and I started going every Friday. As soon as I went there I loved it, and got asked to do more days there when I didn't have college.
"I asked if there was any chance they would take me on as an apprentice mechanic.
"The garage runs a three-year course in partnership with City of Bristol College and it sounded perfect.
"Fortunately they took me on – I've learned so many new skills, and have improved so much as a mechanic.
"I'm now into my second year, with another year left to go until I'm a fully trained mechanic.
"There are now lots of options for me in the future.
"I've always loved Formula One and motor sports and one big dream of mine is to become a motor racing mechanic."
Martin Williams, a partner at Luccombe Garage, said the company had taken on around 12 apprentices in the time it has worked with City of Bristol College.
The firm won Employer of the Year 2012 at last year's City of Bristol College's Apprenticeship Awards.
Mr Williams told The Post: "What we really enjoy is seeing a young lad come from nothing, just out of school or college, and giving them the skills and knowledge to be a fully trained motor mechanic.
"Jamie is doing very well – he has a brilliant attitude and is really making his mark here.
"It's great to see him learning such a useful skill at a young age and maturing into a young man."