Name: Zak Holmes
Qualification: Advanced Apprenticeship in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair
Zak Holmes Motor Vehicle Apprentice Image

Zak has successfully achieved his Level 3 VCQ and VRQ in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repairs at Team Hard after progressing on from his previous apprenticeship at Level 2 in VCQ and VRQ in Light Vehicle Repairs.

Courtesy of Zak’s hard work throughout his time on his apprenticeship; he has been approached by another motorsport team, Tolman Transport, who race McLaren cars in the racing sector and will start full time employment with them very soon.

Zak’s story;

“I’m originally from Newcastle and worked at a Repair Garage there for a couple of years completing a Level 2 apprenticeship. While I was there, I covered maintenance of cars at race weekends, and Tony Gilham at Team Hard offered me a job.

I had already started my level 3 apprenticeship up North, but I chose to move down to the South, away from home and to carry on my education with Team Hard to progress in my career. The process was simple and an older employer, Ray had achieved his Level 2 and 3 apprenticeships with IPS in the same field, and is now managing the workshop, had good things to say about IPS and that’s where I got the recommendation.”

Zac’s family have a background in industry work, and this is what made Zac decide to go down the apprenticeship route.

“My dad is a welder and to be honest, I have always been better with practical roles myself and so once I left school, I knew I wanted to work straight away. I’ve always liked cars, and they are a passion of mine so focused on vehicle repair.”

Zak believes the flexible process of his apprenticeship made it enjoyable and it helped to have his trainer to hand for support whenever he needed it.

“I’ve found my Level 3 apprenticeship enjoyable. Level 2 was where I learnt the basics learning the mechanical side and now at level 3, I can be classed as a qualified technician. I want to be as qualified as I can be and be the best I can be. Level 3 was a lot more in-depth, not just fixing cars but how to strip them down diagnose the problem and figure out why it happened and prevent it from happening in the future. I get a kick out of fixing problems with a vehicle, and enjoy tasks like engine building.”

“Graham my trainer, has been supportive, we learned health and safety which is always important but especially in a garage environment, and I have his contact details and know if I contact him he will get back to me straight away. At my last job, I was with a college, and so I only saw my trainer once a week which was okay, but this way has been much more flexible to me and has helped me develop my skills further the way I learn best.”

Fault finding, repairing and fixing cars are what Zak works at after race weekend and on some popular cars that are televised. The deadline in fixing these cars can be very tight and in some cases, he must check and fix the faults in time for the next race the following weekend.

“After one race, we had an issue where there was a steering problem due to wear and tear of the vehicles being used under constant pressure, these types of issues have very tight deadlines of which I have to meet.”

Zak has recently been offered a job with another motorsport team, Tolman Transport since completing his apprenticeship and they work with popular teams such as McLaren.

“My Apprenticeship has helped me as it’s generated full-time employment and hopefully a career path. I want to be as qualified as I can be and I wouldn’t rule out further education. I do have plans to go to university to do mechanical engineering, but for now, I want to focus on my new job. I have one more month here at Team Hard then I’ll be moving to, Tolman Transport which is a big step and further progression for me.

We race in the same championship at weekends and they race McLaren cars. I was approached and offered the job through social media and I’m looking forward to it. To start off with I will be doing restoration of old classic cars with the chance to do race weekends, so a similar role to what I do now but it will be more in-depth. I want to be the best I can be, and my future goal is to do European series within racing, in a series called Blancpain GT which covers all different countries in Europe, racing high spec cars like Ferraris, Aston Martins, Porsches, and Lamborghinis.”

“I love how apprenticeships give you a challenge and give you the experience you need in a working environment while learning. Getting paid as you learn is also a bonus!”

IPS would like to congratulate Zak; after completing his Level 3 Apprenticeship, Zak will start working in full time employment. We wish him every success in his career and I’m sure we will see him in the Blancpain GT Series in the future!

If you would like to find out more about IPS's apprenticeships in Motor Vehicle, please call 01634 298808