Motor Vehicle

Learners motor on

Three learners from Cheshire College – South & West have excelled in the College Partnership Programme with Halfords Autocentre to secure employment at the company.


Lamin Faal, 32, along with Janis Kalnins and Adam Warburton both 18, and all from Ellesmere Port, have just completed their IMI Diploma in Light Maintenance and Repair Level 3 course at the College’s Chester campus and have gained part-time roles at Halfords.

The Motor Vehicle Tutor at Cheshire College – South & West, Joe Flaherty said: “The Halfords College Partnership Programme is a great opportunity and ideally suited to learners who are looking for a career in the motor industry.

“The course at Cheshire College – South & West provides theory-based principles that relate to practical activities and the learners are subsequently able to gain the hands-on experience at Halfords.

“Not everyone goes on to gain a job at the company, which is why Lamin, Janis and Adam have all done exceptionally well to secure roles at Halfords. This will give the learners an opportunity to put their skills to the test in real, practical scenarios.”

Halfords currently have 319 Autocentres across the UK dealing mainly with light/commercial vehicle service, maintenance and repair. As part of this programme learners benefit from working alongside experienced professionals to gain a wealth of experience.

Lamin commented: “My time at Cheshire College – South & West has been thoroughly enjoyable and hugely beneficial in terms of my development. I’ve now completed my Level 3 course and the tutors have been supportive and always available should I need any advice.

“This qualification has given me a real insight into how the motor industry operates and I’m now enjoying the experience I’m gaining at Halfords. I started just over a month ago, working as a Trainee and I hope that through hard work, commitment and dedication I can prove myself worthy of gaining a full-time job. This will undoubtedly set me in good stead to enjoy a long-term career in the motor industry.”

For more information on studying or applying for a Motor Vehicle course at Cheshire College – South & West, or for further details on the Halfords College Partnership Programme, visit or call the College hotline on 01244 656555.

Country’s first College-based motor vehicle parts store

Cheshire College – South & West’s Motor Vehicle department has joined forces with CES UK, to open the country’s first College-based motor vehicle parts store at its Crewe Campus.

CES UK, a member of The Parts Alliance, is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of automotive parts with 22 branches across the North West, Midlands and North Wales.

The new store, which is run by students studying Level 2 and Level 3 Motor Vehicle Maintenance, sells a wide range of automotive parts, tools and equipment ranging from de-icer, engine oil, batteries and socket sets.

Alex Edmunds, Lecturer in Automotive Technologies, said: “Having our own College-based parts store is fantastic for our students. They now get the chance to experience and learn about all aspects of the motor industry – from vehicle repair, to understanding how dealerships operate and now to running a parts store.

“The parts store is open three days per week to other students, staff and members of the public. Students get the chance to improve their skills in customer service, ordering parts and running a business at a profit.”

The parts store comes following a successful partnership that has developed between the College and the Crewe-based CES Store.

Branch Manager David Hughes explains: “We currently take on two or three students each week for work experience. They get the chance to deal with customers over the phone, process orders, booking in stock and general warehouse management. It’s a privilege to continue to develop our working relationship with the College and we are delighted with the opening of this new store.”

Ryan Dessaur, 18, from Market Drayton, who is studying Level 3 Motor Vehicle Maintenance and will be one of the students working in the store, said: “I think it’s a brilliant idea. It will give me the real experience I need; as students we currently get the opportunity to work on cars in the workshop but not with customers. This will be a really helpful skill and definitely raise my confidence in dealing with people.”

Top of the Grid

West Cheshire College student Vince Irvine, 36, from Chester, hasn’t been in the motor trade long and has already set his sights on becoming a Workshop Manager.

Having been awarded the ‘Motor Vehicle Student of the Year’ at the Annual College Awards earlier this year, Vince has landed himself a full time position at a local Volkswagen main dealership.

At the age of 36, heading back into full time education, following more than 15 years away, was a daunting prospect for Vince. He had worked in numerous professions but felt it was now time for a change.

With a love for mixed martial arts, a sports qualification was an obvious choice, however this was a hobby and a passion for Vince, not necessarily a career option. Therefore, the enjoyment he gained from working on his own car led him to pursue a Diploma in Transport Maintenance.

Vince commented: “It took me some time to gain the courage to walk back into College and it was certainly a shock at first but after a month into it I completely fell on my feet and really enjoyed the course.

“Helping to tutor some of the younger students was equally encouraging for me and I really couldn’t have asked for anymore from my tutors, they have been amazing.

“I managed to complete my Level 1 Motor Vehicle qualification in just six-months and am now working at Volkswagen. This time last year I couldn’t have dreamt that I’d be where I am today. I am earning well, have great career prospects and even own two cars.

“Taking on and completing this course has really turned my life around. I still can’t quite believe it.”

Vince started work at Volkswagen just over three months ago after completing his GCSE Maths and English exams, and is already flying.

He went on to say: “I am absolutely loving work. The team here are incredible and really supportive.

“Since starting I have been fast tracked and have now begun branded training with a view to qualifying by December or at the latest March of next year. This will see me reach level 3/4, which is great for my career progression and much quicker than I anticipated.”

Tony Walker, Tutor at West Cheshire College commented: “Vince has been a truly outstanding student and ambassador for the College.

“Having demonstrated great skill and passion throughout the course, as well as supporting and encouraging fellow students along the way, we are absolutely delighted that he has now gone on to secure a role in a highly regarded dealership.

“His success has been recognised from both his tutors and his peers and we would like to wish Vince all the best for the future.”