Middlesbrough College student goes from part-time employee to rising restoration star

23 March 2022

Middlesbrough College student, Ben Nixon, went from part-time employee to flourishing full-time mechanic at a renowned vintage restoration garage in the heart of Middlesbrough, whilst forming a growing community of car enthusiasts.

Ben started his studies at Middlesbrough College in 2018 on a Games Design course, but could not get his passion for mechanics out of his mind. After deliberating with family about his future and the career route he would like to take, Ben decided to re-train at the College in mechanics, going on to complete both a Level 2 and 3 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance.

During his Level 2 Diploma, Ben hunted to gain hands-on experience in his newly chosen area, approaching Malcom Badger at Automotive Creation Limited (ACL) for a part-time job at his work shop. Malcom, who has been working in mechanics and restoration for over 40 years, was immediately impressed with Bens attitude and could tell he was passionate about the industry, going on to offer him a 2-day a week contract.

From that day, Ben continued to thrive, not only in the workplace but at College too. Ben said: “I learnt a lot at College, it set me up with the qualifications I needed to be doing what I am doing now which I am so thankful for. My tutor, Will Craigins, was fantastic and so knowledgeable in mechanics- I learnt a lot from him.

“Since starting at ACL, I have had the opportunity to work on some incredible projects, from stripping down, to the structure of Japanese cars, to working on the Maserati that starred in the latest James Bond film! The experience I have gained is incredible. I’m proud to say after nearly 4 years and 2 College courses, I am now a full-time employee at ACL – I couldn’t be happier.”

ACL, based in Middlesbrough, not only specialises in restoring vintage cars for clients across the world but now hosts vintage car meets in their on-site hub, creating a community for car lovers that has blossomed through Ben’s passionate attitude towards his role.

Malcom, Bens employer, said: “Ben has always wanted to learn – you would be impressed at the work he completes, he doesn’t realise how remarkable he is. I am impressed at what he was taught at College, it has set him up to be a great mechanic, along with the experience he has gained working alongside us at the work shop. He is brilliant, and I look forward to carry on working with him here at ACL.”

During his journey, Ben has worked to create a community of car enthusiasts who get together to share their love for cars. This is where together, Ben and Malcom, established the idea of creating a community hub, transforming a small part of the garage in to a retro style diner space for the meets to take place. It’s the only one like it in the area, giving visitors a great first impression of the workshop and ensuring that they want to come back again and again.

Ben said: “I enjoy my work so much! I see myself still here in 5 years’ time. I feel accomplished in what I do and the jobs I do are a great middle ground between work and fun, I couldn’t see myself anywhere else. Plus, I have even managed to source my dream car – such a bonus to the job!”

It’s great to see how our students thrive during and after their courses here at Middlesbrough College, taking the necessary steps to fulfil their dream career and passion. To find out more about work-experience alongside your College course, please contact placements@mbro.ac.uk.

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