The Apprentice

As decision time looms for Lord Sugar and fans prepare for the infamous “you’re hired” line, we take a look at our very own apprentice.

An apprenticeship in mechanics would usually be associated with cars, machinery, and other vehicles. But not here at Folly Farm – we like to mix things up. Our apprentice mechanic, Jack Davies, does get to work on cars and machinery yes, but he also works on our vintage fairground rides and our penguin pool pump house!

apprentice mechanic

After seven months of working at Folly Farm as a trainee maintenance assistant in the engineering department, Jack went to college one day a week to study Motor Vehicle Maintenance.

Jack said of his apprenticeship:

“A lot of other apprentices on my course focus on car mechanics, but at Folly Farm I get to work on the vintage funfair rides as part of a big team.  We make sure the rides are safe, through daily inspections, and we fix anything that breaks, so there’s always a new challenge to work on. We also get to test the rides too – so my go-karting skills are on top form and I do fancy myself as the next Lewis Hamilton!”

apprentice mechanic and big wheel

Jack continued:

“I’ve always been interested in mechanics and I wanted to follow in my grandfather’s footsteps, who was also a mechanic. I spent a lot of time with him growing up, which is how I developed my passion. Doing an apprenticeship was the best decision for me. I feel it’s the perfect way to pick up new skills and you’re earning whilst you’re learn. It has also allowed me to do a subject and job that I’m passionate about.”

Kate, our head of HR said;

“Jack is our first team member to be put through an apprenticeship programme with Pembrokeshire College. We decided to venture into the apprenticeship training programme as we needed to bridge a skills gap – our engineers have a unique role with our vintage fairground and it has often been difficult to recruit engineers and develop skills for the future in this area. Jack’s progressing and developing well as he whizzes through the course.”

Chris Ebsworth, our managing director, added:

“We dipped our toe in the water with Jack’s apprenticeship and it’s worked out brilliantly. I can see us offering more apprenticeships in the future across the business and we’re also excited to be offering our management team the opportunity to gain professional qualifications relevant to their role.”