Andy Reynolds, started his business in 1991 as a one-man-band, aged 31. He tells us his initial plan was to just to make through the first year and survive. To his surprise, the business thrived from the very get so and he worked extremely hard to ensure it kept ticking over. Soon, workload became too much for just one technician, so he realised that he would need to hire some help.
Andy Reynolds says: “Skilled mechanics were in short supply and I did not have enough work or finances to support a member of staff.
“In 1992 I employed my first apprentice mechanic and the journey had begun. The Apprentice soon became a skilled worker and so another apprentice was taken on. I decided at this point to make it into an apprenticeship programme for my business, where I took on one apprentice worker every two years.
As the business expanded I had staff ready to fill the gaps, if one left, their replacement was under training and ready to step up.”
Andy Reynolds tells Approved Garages, that he really believes this system works. His Service Director, named Adrian has been in his employment for almost 20 years now. His Senior Mechanic, Dan, has been working for after for 15.5 years and his Company Secretary for 12.
Andy says: “We currently employ 9 staff, 4 of which are on an apprenticeship programme. It is difficult when someone you have trained leaves for pastures new, the grass is not always greener, I take pride in adding skilled mechanics to the market place, one has gone on to be a Service Manager at a Truck Dealer and one runs his own garage.”
A J Reynolds has achieved numerous bongs for their wonderful work over the years:
• In 2016 and 2017 A J Reynolds were the Somerset Apprentice Awards "Small Employer of the Year."
• In 2017 they were "Highly Commended" in the SW Region of the National Apprentice Awards.
• On 18th January 2018, The 2017 National Apprenticeship Awards were held at the Grosvenor Hotel in London, A J Reynolds attended and is on the " National Top 100 Companies for Apprentices" in the UK.
Andy said this award for National Top 100 Companies for Apprentices contined some of the largest companies in the UK – Being with that list is an achievement.
A J Reynolds profile:
A J Reynolds has been a member of AutoCare since 2010 and was "Garage of the Year" in 2013. He said “The benefits and support of AutoCare has helped me take my business forward. When my apprentices have completed Level 3, I use the AutoCare Courses to develop my own experts.”
“There are no excuses for a lack of skilled mechanics, apprenticeships are readily available and generally are free. It just takes time and a little patience to train; the positives easily outweigh the negatives.”