UK automotive glazing apprentice wins major industry award

An auto-glazing apprentice has shown he has what it takes to succeed in one of the UK’s fastest moving sectors of industry, worth an estimated £5billion annually, by winning a major award for his outstanding achievement.

Twenty-two year-old Sonny Robinson, who is employed as a technician at Essex Glass and Windscreens in South Woodham Ferrers, was presented with the trophy for Automotive Glazing Apprentice of the Year at the Institute of the Motor Industry’s Essex Member Association Awards for 2013, which were held at Harlow College.Commenting on his accolade, which he won for the performance, commitment and professionalism shown in his work, Sonny said: “I’m really chuffed to win such a high profile award. I’d always wanted a career that involved working on cars and found out about automotive glazing through Connexions when I left school. Fitting a windscreen on my own was one of my best ever achievements and now that I’ve completed my formal Apprenticeship, I hope to achieve the national Automotive Technician Accreditation standard in auto-glazing once I’ve gained more experience.”

Sonny’s two-year Apprenticeship was managed by the Independent Windscreen Academy (IWA), sister company to Essex Glass and Windscreens. Established in 2008, IWA is the UK’s leading qualifications and training provider serving the independent auto-glazing market. 

Commented Maria Charlton, Director, IWA: “A windscreen is more than just a piece of toughened glass, it’s a science known as ‘smart glass’ because windscreens incorporate solar and hydrophobic coatings, rain, light and heat sensors, radio and GPS antennae and even Head-Up Display. “All this demands a complex set of skills from auto-glazing technicians as the windscreen is integrated into a number of vehicle systems. An Apprenticeship is a great way of introducing capable young people into our sector and Sonny was one of the first recruits nationwide. He has excelled in his training and is developing into an extremely competent and professional technician. We are delighted to see him recognised by the IMI for his efforts.”

Picture caption: Sonny Robinson is pictured receiving his award from Iain Atkins, Owner of Premier MOT in Hockley, Essex, an IMI Approved Assessment Centre for technical qualifications, who was guest speaker at the awards event. Also pictured is John Passfield, Chairman of the IMI’s Essex Member Association.

Offering a tailored proposition to the estimated 700 independent businesses in the UK involved in the repair and replacement of vehicle glass, including cars, vans and trucks, IWA’s experienced team of trainers and assessors provide technical training courses, national qualifications and specialist industry accreditation, as well as information related to new processes, materials and legislation.

For further information about Apprenticeships in auto-glazing, visit http://www.iwa.gb.com  

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