New Generation Interview: Ben Routh, Apprentice Repair Technician, Activate Accident Repair, Leeds

Tell us about your role. What do you do, and what do you find most interesting about it?

I am a third year MET (Mechanical, Electrical, and Trim) apprentice. I remove damaged components on a car after estimation so the panel beaters and painters can conduct their work. I then refit new or repaired parts in place of the damaged ones.

My daily work typically consists of removing and refitting, however as an apprentice I am constantly learning and adapting to my role within the automotive industry. This is what I find most interesting as I love to be able to learn and apply my newfound knowledge daily, no matter the level of impact this new learning will have on my work.

What made you want to work in this industry?

With the rise of electric vehicles and ADAS (advanced driver assist system) technology, the automotive industry is becoming more computer and technology based than it has ever been.

This is what initially made me want to work in this industry given my background in computer science and physics – the evolution of technology is highly interesting to me so being able to see that within my work is a big positive.

What does job satisfaction look like to you?

Simply put, job satisfaction to me is seeing the work I’ve produced leave the shopfloor to a good standard. I’ve always been a perfectionist, so seeing my work leave at a point I can be happy with is satisfying to me.

What do you see as the biggest challenge to your industry in the next year?

As mentioned above, technology is constantly changing. Cars are becoming even more reliant on things like ADAS, and new fuels are being developed. This, in my opinion, could potentially be the biggest challenge. With more variation in vehicle fuel, technology, and systems comes a greater level of difficulty in repair. This is due to the pace of change, and a lack of knowledge and experience across the industry in working with new car equipment.

How would you like to see the industry improved next year/five years?

I would like to see the automotive industry become the thriving industry it once was – technicians have become a dying breed as of late. I’d like to see the industry recognised as an important employer and innovator, so that the younger generation aspire to be part of it.


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