Ben goes full circle with the AA, from dispatching patrol vehicles, to working on the front line.
Having worked for national organisation, The AA, since he was 17 years old, adult evening classes at Preston’s College have helped Ben to secure his dream role – driving his own patrol vehicle and helping customers across the North West.
Joining the organisation in 2011 Ben began his career in the AA’s busy call centre, before progressing onto a position in the Service Delivery Team. Here he gained valuable customer service experience and worked on a series of plans to help improve the customer experience. However, being desk based, Ben didn’t have the opportunity to see the plans put into action and it was this drive and desire to work with the thousands of AA customers that saw Ben embark on a career change.
Continuing to work full-time, and already holding a Level 1 Automotive qualification from school, Ben joined the Level 2 Automotive course at Preston’s College in 2017. Offered on an evening basis, the Level 2 allowed Ben to gain fundamental practical experience, as he had not previously worked in a garage environment, alongside the theory and knowledge needed to implement that practice on a day to day basis.
Successfully completing the course in one year, and with a desire to continue working for the AA, a company that he values, Ben applied for and successfully secured a position as a First Rank Patrol Officer, allowing him to go out on the road in a fully kitted out AA van.
Hoping to progress within the organisation, Ben is now studying on the Level 3 Automotive in Auto Electronics with IMI completion of which will allow him to apply for a fully qualified Patrol role with the AA, taking on additional responsibilities and more complex roadside jobs.
Commenting on the course at Preston’s College to date, Ben said:
“I came to Preston’s College without a garage based background, so the 50/50 split of workshop based sessions and classroom based theory lessons has proven invaluable to me, as it has given me both the theory and knowledge needed to understand the complex issues often experienced on the road, alongside the practical opportunities to put that theory into practice.”
Continuing, he added:
“I was delighted to secure my new role with The AA. It really is an amazing job! I love being out on the road, I can be anywhere. One day I could be in Stoke on Trent, the next day I could be working next to Lake Windermere and the day after, I could be on a sheep farm! Since taking the decision to make a career change, I haven’t looked back. The customer service experience I gained in my previous roles with the AA has been invaluable, as I interact with a variety of customers on a daily and that’s a part of the role that I really value. It is great waking up in the morning and knowing that you will be out on the road, helping people and representing a great organisation.”