LAURIE NURTON, DIRECT DEALER SUPPORT ENGINEER
Name: Laurie Nurton
Job: Direct Dealer Support Engineer at Volvo Car UK
Special areas of interest:
I love the technical aspect of my role – finding out how different parts of the car work together.
Most satisfying part of your job:
I really enjoy learning about the systems in Volvo cars and the technology that will be used in the cars of the future. But because I was a technician, there’s still nothing better than resolving an issue with a car.
"The training in Daventry was brilliant. The trainers made everyone feel at home and were always there to answer any questions."
DIRECT DEALER SUPPORT ENGINEER
AN UNEXPECTED TWIST
“I never thought I would have a career in this industry. After all, I never did a great deal of ‘tinkering’ with engines. I would occasionally take a look at my bike and the odd lawn mower. But to be honest, I never showed a huge interest in fixing anything. Then, when I was 17, and getting ready to learn how to drive, my interest in cars suddenly grew.”
From here, Laurie’s career progressed very quickly. A visit to the school career’s officer led to Laurie being offered an interview for the Volvo Apprenticeship Programme. Attracted by the high standard of training on offer, Laurie attended the interview, passed and before he knew it, he was a Volvo apprentice.
“This was my first job and, naturally, I felt quite intimidated, but everyone at the garage was very welcoming. My next step was to go to the open day in Daventry where I was shown around the training centre and given the chance to meet the trainers and other apprentices. It was a great first experience and I was excited and eager to start.”
ON THE RIGHT PATH
At this early stage of his career Laurie only had experience of one other workshop, but already he could tell that a Volvo workshop was on a different level. “The garage where I had previously completed my work experience was more like a factory. The Volvo workshop was great! We always had the right tools for the job and the work itself was more varied, which meant I learned a great deal in a short amount of time.”
Having the right tools at your disposal and a wide variety of jobs with which to hone your skills is one thing, but it takes a lot more to make the kind of rapid progress Laurie has made. Laurie himself puts it down to a combination of the courses available at the Volvo Training and Development Centre, the enthusiasm of his fellow technicians and the encouragement of his employers.
“There were a number of factors that helped me progress so quickly. Firstly, the training in Daventry was brilliant. The trainers made everyone feel at home and were always there to answer any questions. It was also a privilege to work alongside other, more experienced technicians who want to see you do well. And finally, working for a garage that kept pushing me to improve myself really helped me get to the position I am in now.”
BACK TO WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
So, what is Laurie’s current position? Well, he currently works as a Direct Dealer Support Engineer at Volvo Car UK – and getting there has been quite a journey.
When Laurie was 22, he qualified as a Master technician while working at Keith Price Garages Ltd. From there, he moved to another Volvo dealership in Oxford, Johnsons Cars Ltd, where he worked as the sole Volvo Master Technician for just under two years.
But then Laurie’s career took another twist. He decided to move out of the dealership network and return to the Volvo Apprentice Programme – but this time as a Trainer/Assessor.
So, how did it feel for Laurie to be back where it all began – but this time as a teacher?
“It was great to be ‘on the other side’ and see how the programme operated. It was a very challenging task, but very rewarding. Having completed the Apprentice Programme myself, I know how daunting it can be for a new apprentice. So, I tried to use the experience I had to help them towards their goals and achieve their qualifications.”
But even though Laurie enjoyed working with the Apprentice Programme, he missed the more technical aspect of his previous positions. And it wasn’t long before he got the chance to return to what he loved doing most.
THE ROAD AHEAD
“It was an incredibly hard decision for me to make. But I found myself missing the in-depth technical aspect of the new products and technology being released by Volvo Cars. And now that I’ve made my decision, I know this is the right path for me.”
Laurie’s new role as Direct Dealer Support Engineer at Volvo Car UK allows him to put everything he has learned over the years to use every day. But he still feels he has lots to learn.
“I am still learning so much – to be honest, I feel like a new starter. But I love so many aspects of my job. I love the technical aspect – finding out how parts of the car work together. I enjoy visiting dealerships with the Field Technical Support Engineers to see the different diagnostics and repair tasks they carry out. I really enjoy learning about the different systems in Volvo cars and the technology that will be utilized in the cars of the future. But because I started as a technician, there is still nothing I enjoy more than actually resolving an issue with a car.”
But what does Laurie think is the most important thing he’s learned from his time as a Volvo apprentice, and what advice would he give to someone considering a career with Volvo Cars?
“That’s a tough question,” Laurie says. “The most important thing I’ve learned is to use my initiative. And for anyone thinking about a career as a technician, I would say go for it! I benefited massively by doing an apprenticeship. I suppose I ‘grew up’ and developed into the person I am now.”