After completing their 18-month Parts Apprenticeship, Nathan Buchanan-Carver and Kieran Sealeaf have recently moved into Parts Business Development roles within their respective Ford & Slater dealerships and will be taking on their first company cars to help them advance in their sales careers.
We caught up with Nathan and Kieran to see how their Ford & Slater Apprenticeship helped them get to where they are today.
What made you decide to join the Ford & Slater Parts Apprentice Programme?
Nathan: After realising A-Levels weren’t for me, I wasn’t sure what to do next! I knew I wanted to earn money, learn new skills, and find a career path – that’s when I found the Parts Apprenticeship at Ford & Slater. It turned out to be the best decision I have ever made!
Kieran: I joined the programme as I wanted to challenge and throw myself into something I knew nothing about. It was a chance for me to learn a completely new set of skills and work in a different environment.
What did you learn during your time as an apprentice?
Nathan: I started with learning about the basic parts for truck and trailer. Moving on to the workshop counter, I learnt more on the workings of the parts, what they did and where they fitted. I also learnt a lot from our talented technicians.
Going into the sales office, I learnt the importance of a good phone manner! The office is where I learnt the key skills of sales and it brought me to my next challenge.
Kieran: I learnt how to provide the best level of customer service to not only existing customer but new ones as well. The programme gave me the tools I needed to help understand what the customer expects of us and how I can assist them in the most efficient and effective way.
What would you say to someone who was looking at becoming a parts apprentice?
Nathan: Do it! Coming into this trade as an apprentice allows you to gain the skills and knowledge whilst earning. It comes with great rewards and plenty of opportunities ahead of you.
The dedication the Ford & Slater team have in ensuring the apprentices are completely supported throughout their apprenticeship is one of the reasons why the programme is recognised as one of the best in the country. Nathan Buchanan-Carver says: “They [Ford & Slater] supported me all the way through ensuring I was enjoying the experience. They’re the reason I’m getting my company car today!”
Kieran Sealeaf comments: “Ford & Slater always have my back. Everyone was so welcoming, friendly and always had time to answer my questions.”
Ford & Slater’s Group Apprenticeship Manager, Lee Sursham, oversaw both Nathan and Kieran throughout their apprenticeship: “The key thing that both Nathan and Kieran shared throughout their apprenticeships was their commitment. It’s this quality that has seen them rise through the ranks so quickly, going the extra mile for our customers and surpassing their expectations, as they did with mine. They both deserve every success in what I believe will be a very bright future.”
The Ford & Slater Parts Apprenticeship is one of the most integral parts of the business, Lee explains: “This apprenticeship is key for bringing young, ambitious people into our business. It offers them a platform into a fast paced, exciting sector of the industry that combines technical knowledge and providing an excellent customer experience. This is the first step of a career that is both challenging and rewarding.”