From education to employment

New apprenticeships partnership with Halfords Autocentre hits the road at London South East Colleges

A brand new apprenticeships partnership with Halfords Autocentre has got underway this week with ten apprentices beginning their formal training at London South East Colleges’ Technology Centre in Bromley.

The ten apprentices, three of which are former Level 2 students from the College, form the partnership’s first cohort. The programme will allow apprentices to advance onto a Level 3 qualification that equips them with a varied range of industry skills including customer services, servicing, diagnostics, electrical principals and hybrid technology.

Halfords Autocentre Apprenticeship Liaison, Dave Nichols, has a 23-year career with the company behind him. He too started as an apprentice before moving onto a variety of different roles including MOT tester, senior technician, assistant manager, technical support officer and quality and trainer assessor.

Arriving with his ten new employees, Dave said: “Having moved fairly rapidly through the ranks at Halfords Autocentre, I can honestly say that our apprenticeships programmes work. I started my career with Halfords Autocentre and have stayed because it’s such a great company to work for. All these young people starting today can expect the same if they show a commitment to learn, good behaviour and a willingness to move their careers forward. They are our technicians and managers of tomorrow.”

Halfords Autocentre invited the College to pitch for the role of formal training provider earlier in the year. They came along to view our facilities and watch the teaching and training in the workshops. They also checked our success rates and outcomes before appointing London South East Colleges as one of just three apprenticeship training centres in the south east of England.

Jack, 18 has recently started work at the Woolwich branch of Halfords Autocentre. He is thrilled to be taking part and has ambitions to become a senior diagnostic technician once he has completed his training. He said: “So far, I have received a great reception in my new workplace and I could tell straight away that I would fit in just fine. I have been supported well and made to feel very welcome. I can’t wait to get started on the training along with all the other apprentices.”

Taylor, 17, is former student at the College and was successfully chosen after passing his Level 2 qualification last July. He would like to become a Hybrid vehicle maintenance technician. He said: “I’m so pleased that I made it on to the programme and I’m going to give it one hundred percent. I feel privileged to be starting today and I recognise that I have a very good opportunity at my fingertips.”

Errol Ince is the Assistant Principal for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at London South East Colleges and is very optimistic that the new partnership will be a success. Greeting the new apprentices, he said: “You are all embarking on the first step to a lucrative career with an amazing company. The skills you learn over the next two years will equip you with everything you need to build expertise in the coming age of hybrid and electric vehicles.”

London South East Colleges has a range of courses available for people who are interested in becoming a professional motor mechanic or diagnostic technician. Visit


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