Name: Jake Geraghty
Favourite Heritage Vehicle and Why?
It was love at first sight! The 1970 Chevelle SS LS6 will always hold a place in my heart. The main influence was from a picture that I was obsessed with, as well as movies and being surrounded by family with a passion for muscle cars.
Where does your interest in heritage vehicles come from?
I have always wanted to learn about classic cars, but never had the opportunity when I was young. I was obsessed and kept looking for a way into the industry; as a young boy I would ask about classic cars, watch classic cars on TV, draw them, read about them; the obsession did not stop. There were very few opportunities in Australia so I moved to the UK to see if I could find a suitable course.
Where did you go to school/college/work before you joined Heritage Skills Academy?
I tried a number of different routes after leaving school, I was on a pursuit to find my passion! I studied as an electrical apprentice, became a personal trainer, studied share trading, started businesses - I worked all kinds of jobs before finding Heritage Skills Academy. Although none of my previous roles were quite the right fit I really value the time I spent doing this, as I feel it has taught me many skills and has made me grateful for the position at the Heritage Skills Academy and the company I work for, Electrogenic.
What made you choose an apprenticeship with Heritage Skills Academy and how did you find out about us?
I found an advertisement on the gov.uk apprenticeship page by the Heritage Skills Academy. On reading the details it was an easy decision to apply, I had to be a part of it! The opportunity to learn from older generations to preserve and maintain these beautiful cars, is an incredible thing to do. It was also the answer to a question I would constantly ask myself, if I had all the time in the world, what would I want to do? Work on my classic car!
What can you tell me about the company you work for?
Electrogenic, create beautiful classic electric cars. We are a small team with a passion who preserve classic cars whilst embracing them with modern technology, so future generations and the planet can enjoy them. As an apprentice, I have the opportunity to develop a very diverse skill set including fabrication, welding, mechanical engineering, car restoration and electrical.
What are the benefits of the apprenticeship programme?
Are there any which has surprised you? Having previously done an electrical apprenticeship, I knew an apprenticeship was the best choice for the way I learn. Being able to apply what we have learnt through college to the tasks I have been given at my job, works incredibly well for me. The added bonus, which I am very grateful for, is the company I work for pay me for the nine weeks of the year I attend college and to be given the time to be taught what I need to know for college during work hours. This is a big commitment and long-term investment for them.
What are the challenges of being on an apprenticeship programme?
The challenges of being an apprentice for me would be getting enough exposure at work for things that I have learnt at college. However, this challenge is addressed very nicely by Heritage Skills Academy, with development coaches who come to our work facility to ensure we are applying what we have learnt. Also, being an apprentice who is connected with Heritage Skills Academy, there are a lot of incentives! For example, I have a 1967 Vauxhall Viva HB on loan for a whole year, which I get to work on and look after.
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about becoming a Heritage Skills Academy apprentice?
I believe more people need to start apprenticeships! I don’t disagree with Universities; however, I do feel they lack the onsite experience and support you have when doing an apprenticeship. For this reason, anyone considering an apprenticeship with Heritage Skills Academy is making a very smart move. Comparing it to the electrical apprenticeship I have already done, Heritage Skills Academy sets the bar incredibly high; the quality of students demonstrates this, they are not chasing numbers, they are looking to create the most skilled apprentices, who will be more than competent to take on any task given to them when they have completed their apprenticeship.
How have you found HSA from initial contact, through to finding an employer?
The initial contact has been incredible and I feel very well supported; from the first time I met them, I could sense how committed they are to keeping the apprentices happy. They do this by helping us find a suitable place to work and ensuring we have the best possibly opportunities to gain the knowledge need to pass our apprenticeship.
What have you been most impressed with (HSA and/or your employer)?
I am incredibly grateful to Heritage Skills Academy and Electrogenic; the amount of support I received from both of these organisations is incredible and I honestly feel I would not of achieved half of what I have without them.
What are your future plans?
I am a man with many ambitions! I want to keep learning as much as I can. I want to be a part of Heritage Skills Academy and Electrogenic for a very long time. My main goal in life, is to start my own company and I feel the purpose for staring this business lies somewhere in between the two businesses; I want to work with both organisations to promote Heritage Craft industry and to protect the future of the classic car industry.