Whitley Bay’s Liam on road to career fixing cars

Apprentice Liam Dunigan, of Whitley Bay, at Newcastle's Redgate Lodge car dealership.
Apprentice Liam Dunigan, of Whitley Bay, at Newcastle's Redgate Lodge car dealership.

Teenager Liam Dunigan is on the road to a career fixing cars after being offered an apprenticeship just three hours on from starting a vehicle maintenance course.

The 18-year-old was offered the apprenticeship in vehicle mechanics by the Redgate Lodge car dealership in Newcastle after a college tutor spotted his potential.

Liam, of Whitley Bay, said: “I want a career in car mechanics, so I signed up to do a course at Newcastle College.

“However, I was only at college half a day and my tutor said I was a great candidate for Redgate Lodge. I went for an interview that afternoon and was offered the job. I couldn’t believe it.

“To be offered an apprenticeship within a few hours of starting college is unreal.

“I was over the moon.”

“I have tried to get an apprenticeship myself over the past year but had no success, so I thought the college course was the best option for me.

“I thought it would get me started, and I could find an apprenticeship further down the line.

Liam spends one day a week at college studying level-two vehicle maintenance course and works at Redgate Lodge for the rest of the week.

“I love it here already,” added Liam.

“I have learned so much in a short space of time.

“The training is excellent, and the college course works alongside it really well.

“I aim to get as many qualifications as I can and hope one day to be an MoT tester, working as a garage manager in charge of my own team.”

Ben Dewar, service centre manager at Redgate Lodge, said: “Liam has impressed us with his great attitude to learning and is showing great potential already.

“We hope to support him right through his course until he gains his final qualifications.

“We are grateful to Newcastle College for placing him with us.

“We have a great working relationship with the college and hope to have further apprentices from them in the future.”

Liam’s tutor at the college, Trevor Minto, said: “Myself and a colleague met Liam and were immediately impressed by his mature attitude, eagerness to work and great communications skills, so we wasted no time in putting him forward for an apprenticeship.

“We knew Redgate Lodge were looking for somebody, so I suggested Liam, and by that afternoon he was having an interview.

“The feedback we received from the garage was that they were so impressed they felt they had to employ him.

“It’s wonderful to see young people do well. The college had the contacts, but Liam had the right attitude and commitment.

“We look forward to watching him progress.”

For more information about vehicle maintenance courses, go to www.ncl-coll.ac.uk or call 0191 272 2708.