My motoring inspiration: Holly Darvell


What made you decide to pursue a career in the automotive industry?

My dad is a truck mechanic so I was brought up in the industry. I always enjoyed working with him, but when COVID hit, I had a complete life-360. I was going to become a nurse but I didn’t sit my exams. So I asked myself, ‘Why don’t I do what I do as a hobby as a career?’.

Once you decided to get into automotive, how did you get started?

During one of the COVID lockdowns, I applied for Broadstairs College and got an email back offering me a place. I was there for two days a week studying for my Level 2, then someone from Halfords came in and told us about the apprenticeship scheme. That’s when I applied for an apprenticeship.

How did you find the adjustment in starting an apprenticeship with Halfords?

As I did the Level 2 certificate first, I already knew a lot of the simple stuff. My college had a fire so there were some things I never actually did there. I’d never even changed a tyre before I started working at Halfords! Things like that were challenging because I’d never done them before. I’m in my second year now but I still get lots of help, advice and tips.

Do you find it easy to learn new skills?

I pick things up quite quickly and enjoy new challenges. Sometimes I get a job where I don’t know where to start, but there are so many people here who can help.

What particular skills do you want to develop?

I’ve already got my hybrid training through Halfords. I’m also going to do my aircon and MOT training, which is part of my apprenticeship.

What advice would you give to someone starting their apprenticeship journey?
Make sure to ask for help. Don’t be worried if you don’t know how to do something because there is always someone who knows more than you. You’re never going to know everything. There’s even stuff that the Master Technicians don’t know, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

This is an edited extract from IMI's new MotorPro magazine, received free as part of IMI membership.