Dave Keay, CEO of KP Garage & Bodyshop pledged to Be Involved in February 2018. The company pledged to; apprenticeships, working with those with barriers to work, to upskill their workforce and support schools by becoming an Enterprise Adviser (EA). The company, based in Westbury, deal in maintenance, repairs, body repairs, modification and customisation of vehicles. We met Dave to catch up and hear how the company were fulfilling their pledges.
How is your apprenticeship offer progressing?
We currently have one apprentice who has just completed her Level 2 Vehicle Body which means she is already part qualified, she will continue study for two more years. In the future we hope to employ more apprentices, but we are currently looking for skilled staff to support those apprentices as and when they enter the business using a staggered approach.
Your biggest piece of work seems to be around the Youth Project, providing young people the chance to learn new skills by working on an old car and rebuilding it, can you tell us more?
The Youth Project workshops take place on Saturdays where young people can learn both sides of the trade. We aim to keep kids off the streets working with those between the ages of 14 – 18 years. Using their love of cars to inspire and educate them.
We ran the Youth Project last year with great outcomes; two young people have entered apprenticeships, three are on full time courses at Wiltshire College and one also comes back to us to support the new co-hort. The current group compromises of four boys and four girls, which is great to see an even split, three of the four girls are home educated so this gives them a chance to build upon their social skills which they may miss out on not being in School.
We started this year’s project in March 2019 and plan to run the project for a full year, so we can make the most of all the car shows available to show the car and young people’s work at different stages. For example, we will take the car to the Lions Club in Westbury in September as it is.
We are using any down time to support the young people to develop soft skills for example last week we were waiting for parts to arrive, so I set the group a task and nominated one person to become the team leader. Each week a different person will be the team leader therefore giving them all a chance to develop their skills and have a go at leading the team.
Finally, you are also an EA to Fairfield Farm College what are your plans in this role?
I met with the new contact at the college a few weeks ago to establish how we will work together, so that is a work in progress. I am offering work experience opportunities to students and for those that would find that too much they can come on a work placement for a few hours.