Tag Archives: Lincoln

Home Secretary Theresa May visits PK Automotive in Lincoln

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When you are one of the best businesses in the motor industry, like PK Automotive Solutions (PK) in Lincoln, doing all the right things and with professional staff and smart premises to be proud of, you can expect the likes of politicians to come knocking at your door.

So it probably wasn’t much of a surprise when PK was chosen as a prime business to visit by Home Secretary Theresa May.

She was visiting Lincoln at the invitation of Conservative MP (March 2015) Karl McCartney who explained how this came about.

“Theresa May and I go back 20 years to my early years in the party and I was really keen to invite her to Lincoln to see a real success story in PK. They also look after a number of Lincolnshire Police vehicles.” Karl McCartney JP (and Lincoln MP in March 2015).

The business case for apprentices

With four apprentices taken on in as many years, PK encourages further vocational development through a combination of on-the-job learning, external education and practical hands-on experience. The business knows from its practical experience that offering training and ongoing support to new technicians and people entering the motor trade is essential to both maintain their interest and loyalty as well as to improve and fine-tune their skills.

Coming from a training background himself, Paul Killingsworth (PK’s owner) puts this experience into practice on a daily basis, often training the apprentices himself.

Ashley Maclaughlin, PK’s latest apprentice, was surprised and then delighted to meet Theresa May on his first day. He discussed his new career path and aspirations with her adding afterwards “She’s very nice and easy for me to talk to.”

Well done PK Automotive!

It’s not every day that the Home Secretary pays a visit to meet and talk to and about apprentices. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, this is the first time that such an influential figure has taken time out to listen to the viewpoint about industry standards on behalf of other quality independent garages.

It’s worth reminding blog readers that PK has recently been awarded the IMI Employer Recognition Award; this is further proof of their professionalism and a guarantee of the highest quality of service, knowledge and skills within the automotive sector.
PK is also the only FOXY Lady Approved ie female friendly independent garage in Lincoln recruited on the basis of these standards. As such they maintain an exclusive 5 mile area within our network of garages for local women drivers.

Licensing in the motor industry

This is a subject dear to FOXY’s heart too. Whilst research suggests that over 70% of consumers think it is a legal requirement for technicians and anybody carrying out repairs on your car to hold a licence to practice, this is not the case.

Many technicians, garages and industry leaders including PK Automotive Solutions (and FOXY Lady Drivers Club) are backing the move for licensing so that only The Professionals can work on your car.

This matters because, if you get your car repaired by somebody who is not qualified to do the job and doesn’t have the right skills or know how, this could be VERY expensive AND dangerous.

FOXY

PK Automotive Solutions gets it right in Lincoln

I pride myself in sensing a naturally female friendly business when I walk into one. When this is part of a business compliance check (for FOXY Lady Approved garages or car dealers) there are a lot of clues to help me here. I’ll have had a look at their website in advance to look for details of their staff team, evidence of a commitment to quality standards, clean looking/functional customer facilities and an absence of unnecessary jargon.

I’ll have checked for membership of a Trading Standards Institute scheme, to see if there are licensed staff on the IMI’s Professional Register, evidence of other training courses/qualifications or local awards and any special customer services.

pk_exteriorI found all this and more at PK Automotive Solutions in Lincoln owned and run by Paul Killingsworth. Female staff, a smart business park environment (many garages are in off-putting industrial estates), modern premises, an enlightened and enthusiastic boss, time-saving tablet-based technology and a commitment to giving back to the motor industry.

The last bit is rare. Both PK Automotive and FOXY share an agenda for a licensed motor industry in future.

Our paths first crossed when I was doing some research about female apprentices. My client asked me to talk to a sample of young females including PK Automotive Solution’s Lois Lane. Since then PK has joined our FOXY Lady Approved garage network and is the only female friendly approved independent garage in Lincoln.

I met and interviewed Lois, an Apprentice Technician who is currently working towards her Level 2 in Light Vehicle Automotive Engineering. She is very keen and motivated and certainly well on the road to being a top technician. Watch this space.

Another two females can be found in the reception area of the business.

Rachel Henry is PK’s Administration Assistant (pictured behind the reception desk below) who was initially employed as an office apprentice but has since achieved her NVQ level 2 & 3 in Customer Service.

pk_receptionAmy Kent is the Office Manager who, after taking her initial apprenticeship, then took an advanced apprenticeship in Business Administration and NVQ levels 2 & 3. She has since completed her NVQ level 3 in Business Management.

And knowing this business’ hunger for knowledge and staying ahead of the rest, there will surely be more courses on offer for all who want and need them.

So I wasn’t at all surprised to see that PK Automotive has achieved the IMI Recognised Employer status and was recently presented with the plaque by Michelle Barrett from the IMI and the local MP for Lincoln, Karl McCartney. This scheme ensures that PK’s customers can have the confidence that their car is in safe hands, and that any technician working on their car has the skills, knowledge and expertise to be able to complete the job to the highest standard.

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The photograph marks the occasion of PK Automotive being presented with the IMI Recognised Employer status. From left to right; John Forrest (PK), David Holloway (PK), Lois Lane (PK), Paul Killingsworth (PK), Elaine Killingsworth (PK), Karl McCartney (Conservative MP, Lincoln),  Michelle Barrett (Business Development Manager, IMI), Amy Kent (PK), Rachel Henry (PK).

As I mentioned earlier, PK Automotive Solutions and FOXY are each pro-actively backing the IMI campaign to introduce licensing in the automotive sector. This means, if this is successful, that only professionals with relevant and sufficient qualifications, expertise and skills  will be able to undertake repairs on vehicles in future, ensuring customers safety and guaranteeing their peace of mind.

Karl McCartney, MP for Lincoln, also supports the IMI’s move for the automotive sector to be more regulated.

“I was very pleased to present the IMI plaque to Paul Killingsworth of PK Automotive as a result of the team’s 100% attainment of the IMI Employer Recognition Scheme.

“I am a proud champion of consumer safety and customer satisfaction and can foresee that, with the advent of ever more technically complex vehicles, and eventually driver-less cars, it is of the utmost importance that customers can trust their lives to the work done in all garages, whether large or small, both now and in the future.”
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We are proud to be working with and promoting PK Automotive Solutions to local women drivers as well as ‘leaning in’ to the licensing debate together. This is the only way forward for our industry to be seen as professional, so motorists receive the service levels they deserve with a view to their road safety and wallet.

FOXY

Female friendly garage offer in Lincoln

Female Friendly FOXY Choice approved garage in LincolnPG Mitchell Motor Engineers is a privately owned and female friendly garage in the west end of Lincoln, within walking distance of the city centre and easily accessed from the Lincoln bypass.

A member of the FOXY Choice approved FEMALE FRIENDLY garage network, PG Mitchell also provides specialist services for members of FOXY Lady Drivers Club and their families. In addition to the usual MoTs, car servicing and general repairs, these include time saving maintenance services such as a free tyre pressure check and free levels check (meaning oils, coolant and brake fluids) to members producing their membership card on arrival.

And during September they have an even better offer for women drivers in Lincoln – pop in and they’ll offer you a gift membership of the Club, worth £23, for free.

This comes with all sorts of reassuring and handholding support services so that women can save time, money and stress levels when it comes to every aspect of their everyday motoring.

You could say we’re the equivalent of a girl’s best motoring friend because we’re totally independent, put women’s best interests first and we know who the good guys are because of the female feedback we receive about cars, garage services, dealerships, road accident services, insurance and finance matters.

If you live in Lincoln and you’d like to try a FEMALE FRIENDLY independent garage in Lincoln, why not call 01522 539137 and speak to Mr Mitchell about this now.

FOXY