We spoke to the Californian Classics team about their experience of working with Apprentices as Joe their Coach apprentice started recently with HSA.
Can you tell me about Californian classics, its history, what do you pride yourselves on?
We started trading as a company in 2015 but we've been involved in building Karmann Ghias and Beetles since 1992. We provide a high-quality bespoke restoration service for primarily Karmann Ghias providing design, upholstery, custom work on the vehicle of your choice. We produce cars to an extremely high standard and in fact most cars built for the customer as a daily driver are of a show standard. Californian Classics is immensely proud of its fantastic reputation and has worn many awards at Concourse and Classic Car Shows as well as at prestigious shows such as Volksworld and Le Bug Show.
We aim to provide the ultimate customer service and have a comprehensive range of spares in stock offering friendly advice and help for all our valued customers. We’ve a growing team of 9 staff and we’ve recently invested in a state-of-the-art plasma cutter to manufacture parts and panels which are bespoke, we can turn a sketch into a high-quality body panel very quickly.
Why have you chosen to invest in apprentices?
As we’ve grown and expanded, we’ve found it increasingly difficult to recruit staff with the right skills and attributes, recruitment is one of our key challenges. We thought why not shape the talent and develop the skills and give young people the opportunities to develop the passion that they have for these wonderful classics. They are enthusiastic and have a tremendous energy and a willingness to learn and that brings enormous value to the company and we need to keep these skills alive.
Why did you choose HSA to deliver the apprentice programme, how did you find out about HSA?
When we compared a traditional College setup to what HSA can offer, we realised that the courses HSA deliver are much more appropriate for the vehicles we’re working on, the training and experience that HSA apprentices gain is very specific and catered for our work. HSA are responding to the needs of the sector with a bespoke course rather than a generic course.
How have you found HSA from initial contact, through to placing an apprentice?
HSA have been excellent from initial contact to induction to starting training, matters are dealt with very efficiently and all of our experience has been warm and friendly, we’re delighted with the potential of what promises to be a great partnership.
What are your future plans for apprentices and developing the business?
We are busy and we’re growing in all areas of our business, with a wide range of activities taking place, we’re looking now at a mechanical apprentice and possibly another coach apprentice in the next year or so.