Transport Training Services (TTS) has recently launched two new and exciting schools initiatives which it believes will stimulate a greater level of interest in careers in the motor and transport sector. The initiatives are primarily designed to demonstrate how Maths and Business Studies are relevant to job roles within the industry. Working with local schools and careers teachers, the “Maths in Action” and “Apprentice Challenge” initiatives develop links with Year 11-14 pupils in schools and promote career paths in the industry by getting the students involved in real ‘hands-on’ motor vehicle projects linked to the school curriculum.
The Maths in Action programme, launched in 2017, demonstrates the relevance of Mathematics to working in a local motor business through a variety of stimulating practical activities. The activities take place in TTS vehicle workshops at its purpose-built facility in Nutts Corner. A group of up to 12 students (ideally working towards the achievement of GCSEs i.e. Year 11 or 12) and 2 teachers can be accommodated during a 3 hour visit to TTS. The workshop activities include wheel balancing, wheel alignment, paint mixing, and paint spraying. Not only can the student get involved in these activities themselves, but the relevance of the tasks to various mathematical principles – geometry (angles, radius, circumference, speed) algebra (formulas and ratios) – is fully explained. A number of schools including Ulidia College, Edmund Rice College and De La Salle College have already enjoyed the Maths in Action experience at TTS and this has led to new applications for apprenticeship roles within the industry.
The second initiative, the Apprentice Challenge, involves a group of pupils (ideally Year 13) buying a vehicle at an auction and preparing it for resale to make a profit to be reinvested in school resources or donated to a local charitable cause. The programme lasts for 6-8 weeks and takes the students on an exciting journey whilst at the same time teaches them a lot about the skills needed to run a business – allocation of job roles, budget setting, product identification, auction bidding, purchasing, vehicle preparation and enhancement, and reselling. The first school to participate in this challenge has been Ballyclare Secondary School. Having been allocated a budget by the school, a team of 8 pupils from Year 13 undertook to source, purchase and resell a vehicle to raise funds for reinvestment in the school’s 6th form centre. The students visited Belfast City Auction in Carryduff and successfully acquired a Ford Fiesta at a competitive price. However there was no valid MOT certificate with the vehicle so the priority was then to service and fully prepare for MOT. This was done by the students themselves at TTS under the supervision of TTS technical training staff. Having shopped around to get the most competitively priced parts, a ‘service kit’ was then purchased at a local supplier. Shortly afterwards the service and MOT prep work was carried out by the students and staff at TTS. After a full valet using AutoGlym products the car was resold at auction for a healthy profit and these funds were reinvested in the school 6th form centre for the students to enjoy!!
TTS believe that such initiatives can build positive relationships with local schools whilst at the same time promote the various career paths within the motor vehicle industry. School leavers are often unaware of the breadth and variety of job roles within the industry and the rewarding careers that can be embarked upon through the ApprenticeshipsNI programme.
TTS offers a wide range of apprenticeship programmes. For local motor businesses we offer 3-year apprenticeship programmes Light Vehicle Repair, Heavy Vehicle Repair, Auto Electrical Repair, Motorcycle Repair, Fast Fit, Body Repair, Vehicle Refinishing, MET, Parts Advisor, Service Advisor, and Traffic Office. ApprenticeshipsNI is funded by the Department for the Economy (DFE) and the European Social Fund (ESF) and is available to young people between the ages of 16 and 25. For further information on the schools initiatives and apprenticeship programmes at TTS you can contact Robert Deignan on 028 9082 5653 or email@example.com.