To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2016, we have been catching - up with members of the Read's team who started their career as an apprentice. Here's our Aftersales Managers story.

Tony Robinson started in the motor industry at the age of 17 as an Apprentice Technician and has since climbed the career ladder to become an Aftersales Manager with responsibility for a team of staff at Read Hyundai, and Read Suzuki in Grimsby.

He started on a four year apprenticeship learning all areas of vehicle repair and maintenance before passing his Senior Assessment and becoming one of the youngest senior technicians in the country.

With a very clear career goal in mind to become a Manager, Tony spent five years on the tools before moving into the position of Service Advisor, a role he held for two years before being promoted to Senior Service Manager. After a stint in Sales, he went on to become a Service Manager, within this role Tony won numerous dealership awards.

In his current role of Aftersales Manager, Tony is responsible for a team of mechanics, the service team, and the parts department at Read Hyundai and Read Suzuki. The role involves ensuring customers experience a great service when they visit Hyundai or Suzuki.

Tony chose an apprenticeship as he didn't feel the academic route at school was for him, he said: "I liked cars and wanted a job which was more practical so I took a vehicle apprenticeship and it was ideal for me."

He went on to say: "An apprenticeship was of great benefit to my career because as it developed I naturally moved into roles which may be considered more academic, and I couldn't have achieved that without the skills and experience gained from an apprenticeship."

Tony himself now manages apprentices when they join the Read's team and when asked if he had any advice for apprentices or anyone thinking of this option he said "Make sure you have a clear career path in mind so you are constantly challenging yourself."

"The apprenticeship scheme is a combination of practical and academic study, so if you find the academic side difficult make sure you have someone there to drive you, it really works to have support around you."

Find more information about apprenticeships visit the Apprenticeship website