Published: 30 Apr 2012

A dedicated employee at Jennings Ford’s branch in Gateshead, who started his employment on a Youth Training Scheme in the 1980s, has successfully worked his way up the ranks to manager.

Hard working Andrew Fisher, 46, from Sunniside in Gateshead, is currently bodyshop manager at Jennings Ford’s Accident Repair Centre at the group’s Eslington Park dealership.

The demanding role entails overseeing the day-today running of the department, being responsible for a team of eight members of staff, ensuring sales objectives set out by Ford Motor Company are met on a monthly and quarterly basis, liaising with customers and ensuring the highest possible standard of customer service is provided at all times, in addition to promoting Ford’s Accident Management Programme, which offers peace of mind motoring to customers.

Initially, Andrew left Whickham Comprehensive at the age of 16 with the ambition to become a chef, but that soon changed when he spotted a vacancy at his local job centre for a paint sprayer and was steered towards a Youth Training Scheme.

The (YTS) Youth Training Scheme was brought into operation in 1983 and was the former name in the UK for on-the-job training courses for school leavers aged 16 and 17.

After working on the Youth Training Scheme and earning only £25 per week for one year, Andrew was taken on the books full-time which not only boosted his weekly wage, but it also gave him the opportunity to gain relevant skills through training, experience and knowledge within the motor industry.

Over the next ten years, Andrew gained valuable training and experience, which stood him in good stead for future promotion within the Accident Repair Centre at the Eslington Park dealership, formerly owned by Peter Garven.

In 1994, he officially became bodyshop manager and hasn’t looked back since he was given the opportunity all those years ago.

Andrew said; “Being kept on in a full-time capacity at the end of my Training Scheme not only gave me the opportunity to gain additional knowledge, skills and experience, but it also enabled me to progress my career within the company as a result of receiving a number of promotions and eventually taking on a managerial role within the accident repair centre.

“This is the one and only job I have had since leaving school at 16 and I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity all those years ago.”

Over the years, Andrew has been rewarded on many occasions for his continuous achievements through various incentives implemented by the Ford Motor Company. Placing in Ford’s annual bodyshop champions league has, in the past, resulted in a number of rewards including a ‘once in a lifetime’ Tandem Skydive.

In 2009, Andrew was also rewarded for achieving 25 years’ loyal service to Jennings Ford and in recognition of his dedication and commitment over the years was presented with some loyalty vouchers from operations director, Nicky Dalkin.

Nicky Dalkin said; “Andrew is a prime example of the many opportunities available to staff. Over the years he has worked extremely hard, in addition to being a dedicated, committed and conscientious member of staff who takes immense pride in his work.”

For more information about the range of products and services at Jennings Ford in Gateshead, call in to the Eslington Park dealership or contact 0191 4607464.

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