A 19-year-old ATV apprentice with a Scottish Suzuki dealership has won a prestigious national award for his ‘outstanding’ performance during training.
Dillan Macaskill from Dingwall, in North Scotland, who has worked at the Frank Nicol Suzuki Dealership for two years, beat rivals from across Britain to the title of Outstanding 2nd Year Apprentice of the Year after completing Suzuki’s rigorous ATV training programme with flying colours.
Suzuki’s 3-year Motorcycle Apprenticeship Programme, which has included the ATV network since 2006, is a nationally recognised qualification for technicians coming into the industry.
Dillan is one of around 100 apprentices currently training with Suzuki across all its products and specialisms. Each year, outstanding apprentices are recognised for the dedication and exceptional standards they display while training.
We asked Dillan to give us the inside view on how he scooped the award in the Motorcycle and ATV Category.
How did you feel when you first heard that you had won Outstanding 2nd Year Apprentice of the Year?
It was great to know that all my hard work has paid off! My apprenticeship combines work at the dealership with travelling to the Suzuki college in Doncaster for training, followed by tests based on what I have learned while training and the work I have undertaken at the dealership.
Did you always want to work in the industry?
I’ve been into off-road motorbiking (currently I’ve got a Fantic 301 trials bike) but when I left school at 17 I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I knew that I wanted to learn lots of skills, gain hands-on experience and earn money at the same time. Then a friend told me that he had been on the Suzuki apprenticeship programme and recommended I go for it. The timing was perfect as when I applied to the dealership, I was taken on immediately and the training programme started the following week.
Did you have any experience in ATVs before you started your apprenticeship?
I didn’t have any knowledge of what I was going to do at all! I literally started from the ground up – sweeping floors and getting to know about all the machines and what technicians were dealing with. I moved onto shadowing someone with experience and then began working on a variety of machines while being supervised, before specialising in ATVs.
What are the most rewarding parts of your job?
I really enjoy working on the Suzuki ATVs – they are packed with the latest technology so they’re interesting to work on and are great fun to ride as well.
What has been the most difficult part of your training?
The ATVs can be quite complex to work on so getting to grips with the electronics was difficult at first, but I got used to it quickly.
What does winning this award mean to you?
To be named as ‘outstanding’ is great! The training I have received during my apprenticeship has been great along with getting loads of experience at the dealership, and this award gives me even more of a good starting point for a career in the industry.
Would you recommend the apprenticeship to others who are thinking of pursuing a similar career?
Undertaking an apprenticeship with Suzuki has been a really rewarding experience, I would recommend it to anyone.