I have been working as an Apprentice Patrol for the AA for a couple of months now, and I already feel settled and that I’ve made an important start to my exciting new career.
I decided I would like to do an apprenticeship about a year ago, and I visited some local garages to see what it would be like. I felt that most people didn’t take me seriously and they pointed out all the difficulties I would face as well as telling me I wouldn’t be able to do the physical side of the job.
It was different at the AA, and I couldn’t have felt more welcome.
The AA Interview
I knew from research before my interview that the AA didn’t have many female patrols, and as far as I could tell, the AA had less than 1% of women working in its roadside operations. Despite those numbers, I can see that the company is making a real effort to change and when I applied to be a roadside patrol at the AA I was met with a positive attitude – I felt encouraged to attend the recruitment day and that I’d be given a fair chance.
During the recruitment day everyone was friendly, honest and accepting; whilst it was clear the AA would demand very high standards and excellent results, I was told that I would be supported and tutored so that I would be able to meet those expectations. I felt that my interest in mechanics and being able to help someone was seen to be far more important than my gender.
During my induction I received lots of information about the AA’s efforts to encourage more women into the mechanical roles. The best part of my induction was going out in the yellow AA van with some patrol men, who let me join in with their jobs for the day and were happy to answer all my questions to give me a real view on what it’s like to work on the road. Within the AA, people seem happy that I’ve joined and like to see that things are changing. The customers I met seemed pleased that I’m going to work on their cars one day!
Working in a Garage
It’s been brilliant to start getting hands-on experience in a garage as part of my apprenticeship here, and the mechanics I work with day-to-day have been very supportive, both in teaching me how to do the mechanics and in helping me with tools and techniques to find ways round any problems I’ve faced.
I’ve really enjoyed the start to my apprenticeship and I would recommend it to anyone looking to gain a qualification as a technician.
If you want to work with cars, don’t let anyone discourage you and tell you that you can’t, because I’ve found my place at the AA and so can you.
Click here to learn more about becoming an AA apprentice.