Young John Gowler is setting out on a new career with Mercedes after deciding that a future in the family business was not for him.
The 22-year-old took the bold step of branching out on his own after working for the family’s two businesses in turfing and dog kennels since leaving school.
Realising neither were what he really wanted to do, he signed for a Vehicle Maintenance and Repair course at New College Stamford – and has just landed a trainee position at Mercedes in Yaxley, near Peterborough.
For John, it is the perfect outcome and one he hopes he can develop into a lifetime career with the prestigious German vehicle company.
“I didn’t do that great at school because it was always a given that I would just leave and work in the family business, so I never put the effort in,” said John, from Duddington.
“I worked in the turfing business for two or three years, and also worked as a kennel hand at my nan’s kennels, but after a while felt that I wanted to do something else.
“I tried my hand at a few different jobs, but nothing really interested me, so I signed up for the Vehicle Maintenance course at college and haven’t really looked back since.”
In his spare time, John had enjoyed restoring vintage lorries, so he immediately felt at home on the course.
He completed Levels 1 and 2 without any difficulty and started to look for trainee jobs as he signed up for Level 3.
He went through a three-month interview process with Mercedes before finally being accepted as a Trainee Technician in heavy vehicle maintenance and repair at the company’s Intercounty Truck & Vans in Yaxley.
“I was on the edge of my seat throughout the interview process because I knew it would be an excellent job that would provide me with the best training if I got it,” added John.
“I feel incredibly lucky. I’m going to take every opportunity Mercedes gives me and will work really hard because I realise that this position will set me up for life.”
John said if he had his time again, he would not change a thing.
“I have learned so much along the way that has made me who I am, and I believe that people come to their chosen careers at different times in their lives,” said John. “It’s never too late to retrain.
“The courses at the college have been excellent, including the English and Maths foundations courses I did. They gave me the skills and qualifications to go into the industry, along with the confidence to succeed. I couldn’t have asked for more.”
John’s tutor, Anthony Miles, who is Team Leader of Vehicle Maintenance at New College Stamford, said John richly deserved the trainee post.
He said: “I’m very pleased that John has been accepted by Mercedes and that the college has been able to prepare him to a standard acceptable to them. I wish him well and am quite sure he will now have a successful and deserving career.”
Jason Booth, Manager of Intercounty Truck and Vans, said he was delighted to have John on board the team.
He said: “John has shown enthusiasm and an eagerness to learn from the minute he started. He is always willing to do extra work and has the can-do attitude we require in this industry.
“Hopefully, as John progresses he will be able to spread the word that being an HGV mechanic is not just about being covered in oil, but also about having a very good understanding of electrics and information technology, as these are the components that are making the latest batch of vehicles safe and fuel efficient.”
For information about courses at New College Stamford, call 01780 484300 or go to www.stamford.ac.uk