Stuart Conway is turning his interest in motorbikes into his career with West Coast Harley-Davidson and New College Lanarkshire. The 22-year-old from Renfrew is in his final year of a Modern Apprenticeship in Motorcycle Maintenance and Repair Principles. He combines his job in the workshop of the flagship dealership in Charing Cross, Glasgow with attending the College’s Motherwell Campus every Monday to increase his skills and knowledge.
Stuart initially chose to study for a degree in Photography and Fine Art after leaving Trinity High School, but left the course for a job working in the parts department of West Coast Harley-Davidson.His employers spotted his potential and offered to put him on an apprenticeship to become a motorcycle mechanic.
“I just decided that I wanted to try something different and they put me into an apprenticeship programme in the workshop. I went straight into the second year of three years and it’s fantastic – I’m really enjoying it.
It takes a lot more time than just going to work and going home afterwards, but it’s a lot more rewarding.
I got my first motorbike at the age of 17, a 125cc, and back then the test was different, so I was able to ride a Harley when I was 18. I’ve always loved Harleys. My family are interested in them and I love the enjoyment that you get out of riding them.
If anyone is thinking about going into an apprenticeship, don’t rule out looking for another position within the dealership, just to get your foot in the door because it is quite hard to find a dealership to take you on as an apprentice."
What’s more, Stuart uses his background in photography to model the company’s merchandise.
“Being a photographer as well, I’ve had a lot of experience just standing for people for practice, and my bosses knew that.
It doesn’t really bother me standing in front of a camera, so it’s just another thing that I’ve been able to do since I started here.”
The company’s Aftersales Manager John Weir said:
“We have three technicians in their 50s in our workshop and we didn’t have an apprenticeship programme. Stuart was working in our parts and accessories department and he wanted to get into the workshop, so it was an ideal fit for us. He has a Harley and he’s passionate about the brand, plus he’s dedicated and takes it very seriously.”
“It takes a lot more time than just going to work and going home afterwards, but it’s a lot more rewarding."