The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu has appointed a new workshop apprentice as an investment in the future of its historic vehicle collection at a time when few specialist workshops are taking on trainees.
Classic car fanatic Emily, who has been a volunteer at the National Motor Museum since the age of 14, is starting a four-year apprenticeship which is being generously funded by a small group of Beaulieu One Hundred members. The Beaulieu One Hundred membership is committed to supporting the work of the National Motor Museum Trust to preserve Britain’s motoring heritage for future generations.
New apprentice Emily Leese, aged 18, joins the museum’s experienced workshop team to help maintain and restore its collection of more than 250 historic vehicles. A young woman in an industry traditionally dominated by older men, Emily’s training will help to keep alive the essential skills needed to look after and preserve the museum’s remarkable machines.
When she completes her apprenticeship, Emily will become the first to do so since Museum Manager and Chief Engineer Doug Hill finished his apprenticeship 40 years ago.
The Interviews with Emily and Doug have been plentiful and if you have not caught any of them below is an indication of the media coverage so far:
o BBC That’s Solent are filming (which may act as a taster to draw in BBC South Today).
o Online article for Honest John Classics.
o Online article for Wheels Alive.
o Mention in Practical Classics.
o Classic Car Buyer
o Classic Motor Monthly (Michael Ware)
o Classic Car Weekly
o The Herald
o Lymington Times
o Facebook 32,186 people reached
o Twitter 5,439 impressions
o Beaulieu Website 309 page views
o Beaulieu Blog 116 views
Emily’s training will be overseen by apprenticeship provider Heritage Skills Academy, which specialises in enabling trainees to work towards industry-standard qualifications as part of its Heritage Engineering Apprenticeships programme, tailored to the specialist automotive restoration industry.
Spending most of her time based in the museum workshop at Beaulieu to gain vital hands-on experience, Emily will also study the skills of the trade with Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialist P&A Wood in Essex as block release study, working towards Level 2 and 3 Diplomas in Classic Vehicle Restoration.
Funding for this block release part of her training will be covered by the Automotive Apprentice Bursary awarded by the Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers of London, a charitable association which promotes excellence in the automotive, aerospace and rail industries.
Draper Tools has generously donated a comprehensive tool kit and chest to Emily from its Draper Expert range, which will be indispensable to her over the course of her apprenticeship.
National Motor Museum Manager and Chief Engineer Doug Hill said:
“Ever since Emily first visited us for work experience four years ago, I have been impressed by her enthusiasm and determination. I was the last apprentice to complete my training here at the National Motor Museum 40 years ago, so it makes me exceptionally proud to offer this opportunity to a new recruit by employing Emily as our apprentice in the workshop. It has been a long process to make that happen but with the help of our sponsors, the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs and many others, we can move a huge step forward in ensuring our legacy of knowledge is safe for the future.”
National Motor Museum Trust Chief Executive and Beaulieu Managing Director Russell Bowman said:
“We are delighted to welcome Emily to the workshop. In her previous role as a volunteer, she has already proven herself to be a very dedicated and hard-working team member. By learning specialist maintenance and restoration skills from our experienced engineers, she will be helping to safeguard the museum’s vehicle collection. We wish her a very long and happy career at Beaulieu.”
Emily is launching a blog to follow her apprenticeship story. Click here to read the first post with a Q&A with Emily.