Chris Lockyer from Westover Land Rover in Christchurch has been named Jaguar Land Rover’s Parts Apprentice of the Year at a glittering national awards ceremony held at the Williams F1 Conference Centre in Grove, Oxfordshire.
Attending the awards with Chris was Pete Walker, Head of Service, Quality and Parts at the Westover Group.
Chris completed a two year Parts Apprenticeship, which saw him train on the job under the guidance of Westover Land Rover’s factory-trained technicians, as well as in the classroom at the Jaguar Land Rover Academy in Leamington Spa. Judged on both his performance at college and in the workplace, as well as his attitude and behaviour (including problem-solving abilities and enthusiasm for the industry), the final assessments also considered Chris’ performance in an assessed skills day.
Jaguar Land Rover operates an annual award scheme for its apprentices, nominating a winner from each of its apprenticeship disciplines (parts, technical and service advisor). Around 37 candidates were shortlisted for the Parts Apprentice of the Year award, with six finalists from each category attending on the night.
“Huge congratulations are in order, especially as Chris is the first Parts Apprentice we’ve ever had at Westover,” says Paul Dillon, Westover Group Joint Managing Director. “To be shortlisted for two consecutive years, as Chris has been, and also win the Apprentice of the Year title is a terrific achievement. It’s testament to all the hard work that Chris has put in since starting his apprenticeship with Westover Land Rover.
“We’re incredibly proud to have him as part of the team and look forward to seeing him develop his career with the Group.”
Pete Walker adds: “Chris and I had an amazing afternoon and evening at the awards event. We knew he’d been shortlisted as a finalist but no more. Just after 7pm his win was announced – what an amazing moment! Of course, having worked alongside Chris for the last two years we had little doubt that he deserved the title but, even so, it was so great to hear his name actually called out! It’s a fabulous honour and it was a very proud moment for Chris personally but also for the Westover Group. We have little doubt that he’ll continue to develop and, all being well, we hope he will become our next Parts Manager in time.”
Before joining Westover Land Rover, Chris attended Highcliffe Sixth Form College. It was on the school’s website that he first spotted the Land Rover apprenticeship opportunity.
Chris adds: “I was so ecstatic when my name was called out. It was just brilliant and a great relief. I feel the apprenticeship has given me a great grounding, consolidated on a day to day basis by the experience I’ve gained on the job. I deal with customers who want to order their own original Land Rover parts, as well as the workshop teams, so I need to know my stuff and sometimes be able to interpret and apply customer requests. It was a steep learning curve initially but a great way to learn and I wouldn’t change a thing! I’m grateful for all the support I’ve had and I’m looking forward to the next stage of my career.”