Whittlesey apprentice Jack revs up top award

Teenage mechanic Jack Hawksbee from Whittlesey has overcome difficulties at school to be recognised as one of the finest motorcycle apprentices in the country.

The 17-year-old, who left Sir Harry Smith Community College in Whittlesey last year, has just scooped the Suzuki Apprentice of the Year award.

Jack won the Year One Motorcycle Technician Category, beating hopefuls from across the UK to take the accolade.

He started the apprenticeship last November, soon after landing a full-time job at Wheels Motorcycles, in First Drove, Fengate, Peterborough.

He said: “I couldn’t wait to get into the world of work.

“I found school quite hard as I couldn’t read very well, but everyone thought I just wasn’t trying very hard.

“Then literally two months before I left school we found out I had a form of dyslexia.

“Because I’d been really struggling I did a couple of tests and we finally found out why.”

Jack, who still left school with seven GCSEs, had been working at Wheels Motorcycles on a Saturday for two years before he secured a full-time position on an apprenticeship there.

He said: “I’ve always enjoyed mechanics and messed about with a couple of bikes at home in my spare time.

“I also really enjoy it at Wheels, they’re a great bunch of people.

“I was really chuffed to be offered the apprenticeship and I’m over the moon I won the award.”

Jack, who lives with his family in Coronation Avenue, Whittlesey, is on a three-year apprenticeship course.

As well as his work at Wheels Motorcycles Jack goes to the Suzuki training centre in Rotherham for week-long courses every other month.

It was staff at the training centre who nominated him for the accolade.

Wheels Motorcycles’ managing director, Neil Steen said: “We are extremely proud of Jack and what he has achieved at a national level.

“It also demonstrates that we take training at Wheels very seriously and it builds confidence in us as a dealership that customer safety is a number one priority.”

Wheels also has two other apprentices – third-year motorcycle technician Jamie Bowd and second-year customer service apprentice Jack Snowdon.

Factfile: Suzuki apprenticeships

SUZUKI’S motorcycle technician apprentices receive training in everything from routine motorcycle maintenance and servicing to fault diagnosis and component overhaul in a 17-week programme carried out over three years.

They receive full-time employment at a Suzuki dealership, with the block release training carried out at state-of-the-art training facilities.

The first Suzuki Motorcycle apprenticeships were launched in 2004, with around 30 new apprentices a year.

Paul ChampionStrategic Project Manager

Mobile: 07540 704920

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