Name: Andy Heywood
Company: McGrath Maserati
Founded in 1977 by Bill McGrath, Andy joined the company in 1988 and looked after the day to day running until Bill retired in 2004. An independent Maserati specialist who restore, service, and maintain all types of Maserati car their wonderful showroom offers superlative Maserati and rare Italian cars and motorcycles for sale.
Occupying premises of over 13,000 square feet, made up of the restoration department where traditional skills and craftmanship are still much in evidence, fully equipped workshops where they carry out maintenance and touring preparation on classic Maseratis while utilising Maserati diagnostic computers and special tools on the modern ones. There are engine and transmission overhauling and engineering rooms, car storage facilities, and the extensive parts departments for new and rare used spares holds possibly one of the largest Maserati parts inventories in the world.
They are rightly proud of their heritage and reputation, which has been built from over 40 years’ experience.
Andy heard about HSA quite by chance when John and Janice, our Directors, popped in having been to visit another company around the corner. They talked, and Andy was impressed by their passion for the industry and the sound of an apprenticeship programme, which was different from the offering with other local colleges. Having trained himself on the City and Guilds Classic Car Restoration course at Colchester College he learnt general motor vehicle skills alongside, so values the benefits of having more general knowledge alongside a specialism and said, “the variety involved in the Heritage Engineering Specification helps meet the needs which are not covered elsewhere. Recruitment is one of our largest challenges as a business; with an aging workforce, and the difficulties in the recruitment of experienced and enthusiastic people, it is important that skills and knowledge are passed down to a new generation to enable the continuation of the restoration industry”.
It is clear Andy is invested in training and supporting his enthusiastic team and wants them to stay with the company longer term and develop their skills. We asked what Andy had found most surprising working with an apprentice “Cain himself is a surprising person, he has an interesting way of looking at things and brings a different perspective to the team”.
Although Andy has not always had positive experiences with other apprenticeship providers, he is pleased he decided to work with Heritage Skills Academy “HSA is different to other apprenticeship providers. One of our biggest challenges is recruitment; HSA saved us so much time and effort with their fantastic management of the recruitment process and we ended up seeing four excellent candidates before selecting our apprentice. The Initial Assessments, interviews and whole vetting process ensured the candidates we met were all a good quality and made us more confident of success.
We are kept well informed of what Cain is learning when he is on his block release, with regular contact including visits and reports, we know how he is progressing and what we can do to support him. When Cain has successfully completed his apprenticeship, we hope we will retain him, and will certainly be looking to recruit and train another."
Andy’s advice to young people looking to join the industry; “Don’t expect it all at once, but if you work at it the rewards will come.”