Published: 11 Dec 2018

Apprenticeship steers Ian on path towards motor vehicle technician status


An ambitious young man from Sunderland has been given the opportunity to change his job role, thanks to an apprenticeship programme at Lookers Ford Direct, the new name for Jennings.

Ian Stewart, 18, from Farringdon, began working as a full-time parts advisor within the busy parts department at the Newcastle Road dealership in South Shields, after leaving school at the age of 16.

Problem solver Ian, who’s partial to getting his hands a little dirty and keen to learn just how everything works underneath the bonnet, has exchanged his parts uniform for an overall  after being given the opportunity to transfer from parts 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.

Ian junior, said: “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.  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 at the dealership, 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.

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

At the end of the three years, Ian will become a fully trained and qualified Ford motor vehicle technician.  His responsibilities will include servicing vehicles following stringent guidelines set out by Ford Motor Company, repairing and replacing parts and components, liaising with the team of service advisors regarding work to be carried out, 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.”

Lookers Ford Direct provides a range of aftersales facilities, including service, MOT, and genuine Ford parts and accessories, as well as selling quality approved used Ford cars, delivered direct from the manufacturer, and a Used Car Outlet.

For more information about the range of products and services available at Lookers Ford Direct, the new name for Jennings, call into the South Shields branch, contact 0191 4276666, or visit

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