Aaron McGrath started out as an apprentice technician in 1996 straight from school. After completing his apprenticeship, he moved to West Pennine Trucks in 1999 as a Technician. During his 14 years there, he had progressed through a variety of roles such as Master Technician, Workshop Controller and into Management. He then made the move to Scania (GB) Ltd seven years ago as Technical Manager at Scania’s Technical Training Centre in Loughborough.
We have interviewed Aaron to find out more about his current job as well as his thoughts on apprenticeships.
Why did you decide to take up an apprenticeship when you left school?
I completed two weeks of work experience in a truck dealership prior to leaving school and this really got me hooked on trucks and everything mechanical. I applied for several jobs and landed an apprenticeship with a job placement at a truck workshop and started there straight from school. Learning hands-on the job with a block release to college meant I could learn while I was earning, and this really set me up for a great career. I’d totally recommend taking this route because you get to learn from the ground up with both the practical and theory aspects of the job, and the learning process is gradual.
Tell us about your current role at Scania?
My current job role is Technical Manager for the U.K. and I’m based at the Technical centre in Loughborough. I’ve been in this job role for nearly 7 years and I manage a team of Technical Engineers who are responsible for providing remote expert support to our 85 Scania workshops.
Pre-Covid I was travelling to Sweden for around 6 weeks of the year, and I’ve also visited several Scania markets in Europe. I’ve spent a lot of time at the factory learning about upcoming vehicles, engine technology and software, gaining insights into what’s coming in the next 3-5 years for the future of transport.
We’re currently in the process of transforming our workshops and training our technicians to be able to handle Electric Vehicles, which is the biggest change the industry has ever experienced.
What is your most memorable moment during your career at Scania?
My Proudest Moment – Winning the European final of the Scania Top Team competition in Brussels. In 2011 a team of five from my workshop entered the Scania Top Team competition. The competition involves practical and theory workstations that are completed against the clock. The team with the highest overall score on the day wins. We went on to win the U.K. final and progressed to the European Regional final in Belgium. We came First in this final and ended up in the World Top Team final that was held in Södertälje, Sweden. This was a much tougher competition and we finished as the fifth team overall in the World which was a great achievement.
What has been your most unique job whilst working at Scania?
Most enjoyable experience – I travelled for a Scania Assistance call out to Antigua in the Caribbean where I spent two weeks with a colleague re-building two Scania generator engines onboard a Super Yacht.