Northern Ireland duo Mark Callan and Ben Priestly are in the driving seat towards a successful new career thanks to a CRASH Services scholarship awarded to trainees of Riverpark Training.
CRASH Services launched the prestigious scholarship scheme in 2019.
The Body Shop Apprentice Scholarship aims to attract more apprentices into the Northern Ireland car body repair industry.
The innovative scheme follows a link-up between Northern Ireland’s leading accident management firm, CRASH Services, and training provider Riverpark Training and Development, who selected Mark and Ben in August 2020 as the second beneficiaries.
Both were selected from the number of apprentices who had just started with Riverpark in Mallusk that term.
There are two awards per year for an initial three-year period.
The scholarship is worth an impressive £10,000 to each lucky apprentice during their three years of training.
Pictured: Jonathan McKeown (CRASH Services) and Mark Callan (Apprentice)
Mark Callan from Portstewart is completing his apprenticeship at AG Automotive.
Mark spoke of how great his first year has went in.
“My first year at AG Automotive has been great. I feel like I have learned a lot of skills from my mentors and I am very excited to learn even more over the next few years.
This has been backed up by my time at Riverpark Training in Mallusk.
I have been able to work on some very nice cars ranging from full resprays to simple dent repairs and I’m currently honing my skills at panel beating, welding and priming.
It’s great to see the odd Ferrari in the workshop too.”
Pictured: Jonathan McKeown (CRASH Services), Ben Priestly (Apprentice) and Colin Porter (Porters Bodyshop).
Ben Priestly who is based in Lisburn is completing his apprenticeship with Porters Body Shop who are based in Portadown.
Ben spoke of his enjoyment during his first year.
“My first year as an apprentice was great and very enjoyable, Porters Bodyshop has a great team who helps to push me and help me learn, partnered with Riverpark Training who have improved my progression through my workplace and helped me to hone my skills. I look forward to progressing through my career to become a skilled worker with the aid of Porters Bodyshop, CRASH Services and Riverpark Training”.
Jonathan McKeown, CEO of CRASH Services, said, “It gets more and more important every year that new people are encouraged to come into the car body repair industry.
This is a highly skilled trade, that requires the highest standards to be instilled from apprenticeship all the way up. At CRASH we want to do our part ensure there is a vibrant repair sector able to repair modern vehicles as professionally and as efficiently as possible.
We would encourage anyone with a keen interest in cars and technology to consider this scholarship.”
Colin Hagan, Managing Director at Riverpark Training, the leading provider in Northern Ireland that trains predominately for the Automotive Industry, said, “We have a long history of working closely with industry partners to ensure apprentices are developed to a high standard.
Indeed, our trainees regularly achieve International Awards for their skills.
We are delighted to team up on the scholarship scheme with CRASH Services and look forward to training the next generation of repairers.”
Interested in a scholarship within the repair industry?
To be eligible for the CRASH Services Scholarship you must be employed as an apprentice in a CRASH Services associated bodyshop and enrol with Riverpark Training, Mallusk, for your training and qualifications.
For further details on how to apply, please contact Colin on 02890 342400 or email
Please apply by Friday 31 October 2021 to be considered.
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