Adam Froggatt was nominated for outstanding student in a nontechnical discipline last year and talks about the non-technical side of being in the industry.

I was born in Plymouth, Devon and my major hobby is Karate which I have been doing for nearly 3 years; I fought in the British Open Championships for Male Kumite (fighting) on the 14th of October in Kent this year and came 3rd. I grew up watching Formula 1 and have always wanted to do something relevant to cars but don’t particularly enjoy getting dirty.
I always enjoyed school and have liked learning new things and always enjoyed Science and IT and found it intriguing how things worked.

Useful Subjects
ICT is something which I use every day in spreadsheets and word documents. I also use Publisher to make
marketing material. Maths is also used heavily when calculation targets and invoices as well as English when speaking and writing E-Mails and Letters to customers.

What I did next
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I left school, I chose to go to college and took a BTEC in Business Studies as I thought it incorporates everything from Maths and English all the way to IT and Law. I was also working part time as a Guitar Teacher and when my Business Degree finished I still didn’t know what to do so chose to do a BTEC in Sound Engineering. I then found myself a job in a warehouse and worked my way up to Manager and decided if I wanted to further my career I will need to take a step back to take 2 forwards. This is when I applied for the BMW Parts Apprenticeship and I have never looked back.

Why automotive?
I have always been interested in the Motor Trade and I chose Parts due to the fact that it incorporates every aspect of the motor industry within one department:
+ There are technical influences from working closely with technicians Administration and management skills through the decisions made with regards to stock holding and targets set
+ Customer service and sales skills are a huge part of the day to day running of a parts department
+ Everything above makes the parts department the most relied upon section in the dealerships structure

How I got this job
I applied though the BMW Apprentice Scheme Website which is full of information and lets you know what to expect. Parts Advisor is a skilled job and without any qualification or past experience is very hard to get in to. In April 2010 I Joined Ocean Plymouth on a BMW Parts Apprenticeship as an Apprentice Parts Advisor

My training
Before training commenced I was sent to North Wales on a team building week. Whilst we were there we learnt how to rock climb, gorge walk, sail and even gained our Level 1 Powerboat licence. Training at the BMW Academy then commences which involved 4 days every 3 months. We stayed overnight in the living quarters above the learning centre, the rooms are complete with free view and WiFi and some even have double beds so it is a very nice place to stay. We received a lot of sales & customer service training as this is a must for a role in Parts. We also spent 1 day of the week in the workshop stripping out breaks or taking an engine apart and rebuilding it.

My job
Ocean is a Franchised BMW/MINI dealer who has 4 dealerships in Devon and Cornwall, in addition to a body shop and a self contained pre delivery inspection centre for new and used vehicles. There are approximately 260 employees within the company. As a BMW Parts Advisor my role is to ensure customers are given the best possible experience whether they are replacing a bulb or adding performance enhancing parts to their track car. Recently I have been actively involved in the start up of our online stores and helping to ensure the department is hitting all targets set by our accounts department and BMW UK

I have had massive support from colleagues within my department. I have my own mentor in my Parts Supervisor and have a very experienced Parts Manager who has also been a big help throughout my apprenticeship. BMW UK provides you with your own CPA (Career Program Advisor) who comes to visit and help with any portfolio issues between blocks at the Training Academy. I am enjoying the beginning of my Career with Ocean and owe my achievements to Paul Eccles and Kevin Chalmers for the guidance they have provided me.

Outstanding Achievers Award nomination
I was nominated for the IMI outstanding achievers award by BMW UK along with 70,000 delegates from all different manufactures. After being short listed twice I was chosen as a finalist along with 2 candidates from Volvo. I was the only candidate representing BMW but only just lost out on winning. I was awarded the certificate from HRH Prince Michael of Kent who congratulated all winners and finalists. After being nominated for Outstanding Achiever of the Year, I now have my sights set on BMW Apprentice of the Year and Project of the Year for my BMW Golfsport Campaign. In 5 years’ time I would like to see myself in a Management position within the Ocean Group, possibly running my own Parts Department.

‘Take every possible opportunity towards training as you never stop learning’ and ‘There are always ways to progress and further your career in the Motor Trade… it is just a case of grabbing them with both hands’


Your Next Steps: If you are interested in following Adam’s path and want to know more about becoming a Parts Advisor follow these handy links You can also see the parts chain from start to finish in our VIMEO films too

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