A TEENAGER who had the courage to walk into a prestige car showroom with his CV and a history of the vehicle he had restored has set a trend at the business.

Staff at Porsche Centre South Lakes were so impressed with Whitehaven-born Jim Willis that they took him on as their first apprentice in eight years – and as a result of his success the centre has just taken on another two as the business continues to expand.

The 18-year-old originally started at sixth form to study a BTEC in engineering, design and technology, as well as A-level maths. “But I wasn’t really sure what to do as I had a STEM mindset and loved engineering but didn’t have a particular aim,” said Jim, who now lives in Endmoor.

“Then I was gifted a car by my cousin and began tinkering with it at the weekend. I would search online for videos of how to fix things and I really enjoyed that and it expanded from there. I had too much time on my hands at sixth form, wasn’t enjoying it and I left.

“So I got suited and booted, updated my CV and walked into Porsche Centre South Lakes (PCSL) to try and speak to the aftersales manager, but he wasn’t there. A few days later he asked me to come in so I took a Haynes manual, a folder of evidence, including pictures of what I had done to my car, and said I would love to do more. They took me on.”

Since then Jim has been living his dream working in the workshop at the brand new, state-of-the-art site, just off the M6 at Carnforth, under the watchful eye of a mentor. One week in five he travels to Porsche’s Apprentice Training Academy in Slough where he works on a variety of Porsche models on which faults have been placed.

“It is very technical with diagnostic computers and increased safety around the latest generation of electric vehicles,” he said. “It is a very responsible job and you need to go through a lot of training. Porsches are high performance vehicles, and a lot of customers quite often use them at track days so they have to be right.

"The great thing about an apprenticeship is that you get to learn a trade, gain qualifications and instead of accruing student debt you actually get paid.”

Jim was also given the chance to join a PCSL team in the Porsche Classics off-roading competition. “It was really good and I feel like I am living the dream,” he said.

“It is such an exciting career where you meet really interesting people.”