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Dramatic change of fortune for apprentice mechanic

1 March 2013

Apprentice mechanic Nick Wright thought his hopes of working in a garage were dashed until he applied for a job in an entirely different field with leading UK wood recycling company Plevin.
Nick, 22, had achieved a healthy set of relevant college qualifications but couldn’t find an apprenticeship place to pursue his dream trade.
So instead he applied for a general operative post, which he saw advertised in his home town of Boston, Lincolnshire. It turned out to be with Plevin, and that was when his luck changed.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Nick. “I went for the other job so I could at least have some work, but during the interview I mentioned about my real dream of being a mechanic and it emerged that Plevin had just such an apprenticeship place available. They suggested I try for that instead.”
Nick’s enthusiasm and qualifications so impressed the second interview panel that he got the job as apprentice mechanic at the firm’s Elkesley site in Nottinghamshire.
There, he does not just get the chance to work on cars and light vehicles, but also on Plevin’s HGV fleet, which transports waste wood and finished products all around the country. The family-owned company collects, processes and distributes 600,000 tonnes of waste wood a year.
It’s a real conversation point in his family because, coincidentally, Nick’s dad, Brian, was an HGV driver before retiring.
“Both he and my mum are really pleased I’ve found an apprenticeship post and this one’s a real step up for me as it’s quite specialist and also a great place to work. There is such an experienced team here already, who I can learn so many new skills from,” said Nick.
Taking on the post meant he had to uproot and move to a different part of the country, but the opportunity was so good Nick had no problem doing just that and his chef girlfriend, Zoe, has also managed to move up to be with him.
Nick said: “We’ve a house in Retford now which is great and I’ve no regrets at all about moving, I’m enjoying the work so much.”
Plevin is one of the UK’s leading wood processing and recycling companies, and employs 150 people across five sites, including Elkesley.  It is also one of the biggest suppliers of animal bedding products in the country, with customers including supermarkets and pet wholesalers.
Nick works to a shift pattern that involves some early mornings, but boss Chris Markham said he’s always full of enthusiasm no matter what the time of day.
“We’ve been really pleased with the promise Nick’s shown so far. He really wants to learn and has a great positive approach,” said Chris, 64. “There’s a few of us here close to retirement and Nick is just the sort of young apprentice we hope to bring along before we go. He has exactly the right kind of attitude and aptitude for the job.
“We’re proud to have him in our team. Practical apprenticeships are essential for the continuation and progression of hands-on skilled trades liked ours. Plevin recognises this and Nick’s recruitment is testimony to that. I’m delighted we continue to offer places, and a route to a fulfilling career, to talented youngsters like him.”
Nick was already off to a good start, before joining Plevin, having gained his NVQ 1, 2 and 3 level qualifications in motor vehicles at Boston College. He also studied a motor vehicle GCSE course at his school, Haven High Technology College.
In his spare time he is a keen angler, having competed for Boston Juniors.
He said: “I haven’t had much time to go much since starting my apprenticeship but hopefully once I settle in to the shift pattern more, I might get chance to do get out on my days off.”