Lauren Wheatley

Apprentice Panel Beater

“Moving into the industry seems intimidating… but my only regret is not doing it sooner.”

Your role

I am a first year apprentice panel beater.

What does your day as an apprentice at Activate Accident Repair look like?

I work with my mentor on all kinds of different jobs, whether that be stripping and refitting at the start and end of every job, or removing and replacing panels which involves different types of welding. I could also be repairing panels through various different methods of metal and plastic work, applying filler and sanding it down as well as a lot of other prep work and tidying up that comes with the job.

What do you enjoy about the apprenticeship?

The thing I have enjoyed most about my apprenticeship so far is being able to just get stuck into the work – I feel like I’ve learnt so much already, and I’ve only been here for 5 months.

Where would you like your career to develop at Activate Accident Repair?

As far as my career at AAR goes I still have 3 years of my apprenticeship left, so my current main career goal is to continue working hard through my apprenticeship, and become a fully qualified technician in AAR at the end of it.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start an apprenticeship?

My advice to others, specifically women, looking to move into the industry is that moving into the industry can seem intimidating. I tried different jobs, trying to find something less intimidating but now I have finally gone and done it my only regret is not doing it sooner – there’s actually nothing to be scared of!