Level 3 Apprenticeship in Motorsport Engineering - Banbury and Bicester College – part of Activate Learning
“When I am on the starting grid in Bahrain or China, talking to the drivers and teams and preparing for the race, I can’t quite believe where I am and what I have achieved. It’s a dream come true.”
Ashley Jones always dreamed of a career in motorsport. As a teenager he indulged his passion for racing on the go-kart circuit, and enjoyed watching his favourite drivers compete on television.
Having completed his GCSEs, he began to search for a course which might give him a much-needed head start in such a competitive industry. His friends recommended three colleges and, having attended open events and interviews at all three, he chose Banbury and Bicester College, part of Activate Learning.
Ashley said: “What impressed me at Bicester was that the staff were so knowledgeable. They had worked in the industry so they had first-hand experience and they maintained really good links. They were also committed to helping me prepare for my career, rather than just being focused on completing a qualification.”
Having completed the two-year Extended Diploma in Motorsport Engineering at the Bicester campus, a specialist centre for motorsports training, Ashley found out about an apprenticeship opportunity at Banbury-based Prodrive.
Ashley said: “I had already met the manager from Prodrive, as he had been in to talk to us during the course. That made it easier when it came to the interview. The team at Bicester helped me to prepare for the interview, including giving me a practice run, and I was absolutely made up when I was offered the place.”
Ashley is now in the third year of his apprenticeship at Prodrive, and has gained experiences which have surpassed all his expectations.
He said: “Last year I was lucky enough to join the team for World Endurance Championship, travelling all over the world as part of the pit crew. The first race was at Silverstone and after my work there I was told that I could join the whole championship. The atmosphere at the races is just amazing and to get that kind of experience as an apprentice is incredible. I would be happy doing it all the time.”
Once Ashley has completed his apprenticeship, he hopes to further develop his experience as a mechanic and fulfil his ambition of working in Formula 1.
He said: “My route so far has been incredibly smooth, from completing my course to moving into the apprenticeship and building my skills and experience. I hope that it continues, and will keep working hard to ensure it does.”
You can apply for the course that Ashley completed - Level 3 Apprenticeship in Motorsport Engineering
Watch a video of Ashley talking about his experiences