Skills Support for the Workforce

Devon tyre and auto centre upskills their workforce with fully funded training

Dawlish Tyre Centre Team

Dawlish Tyre & Auto Centre Ltd is a successful family run business based in Devon. They specialise in general car repairs including body work, servicing and restoring vintage Land Rovers.

Owner Brett South found out about Heart of the South West Apprenticeship Service, a programme which provides fully funded training and support to equip businesses in Devon and Somerset with the skills they need to grow. The service can provide businesses with recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses for their employees, as well as business support to enable them to take advantage of suitable Apprenticeship opportunities.

Brett’s two apprentices, Lewis South and Toby Durrant, were coming to the end of their programme and he thought it would be a great opportunity for his young mechanics to learn more skills and to help his business grow as a result.

Serco delivers Heart of the South West Apprenticeship Service on behalf of the Local Enterprise Partnership through a network of expert training providers. It is co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Nick Green, Programme Co-ordinator for Automotive at South Devon College, one of Serco’s training providers, completed a Training Needs Analysis with Brett. This found the mechanics could benefit from more diagnostic skills and the garage would benefit from being able to offer Air Conditioning maintenance. Brett, Lewis and Toby were all keen to take the opportunity and signed up to a week’s course at South Devon College’s Bradley Lane campus in Newton Abbot.

The week consisted of 4 days of non-regulated diagnostic and vehicle inspection skills sessions and the final day was IMI Level 3 award in Automotive Air-Conditioning servicing and maintenance.

Nick Green, Programme Co-ordinator for Automotive at South Devon College said:

“Lewis and Toby worked really hard and passed both of their online air-con exams. Their confidence and skills have greatly improved and I wish them well in their careers as mechanics.”

Owner of Dawlish Tyre & Auto Centre Ltd, Brett South, said:

“The support from the curriculum staff has been second to none. They are very approachable and want to work in partnership to develop both the learners and our business. I am really pleased with the outcome”. 


Following the training Lewis and Toby were promoted. In addition Dawlish Tyre & Auto Centre Ltd gained the prestigious Institute of the Motor Industry Accreditation. The company has benefited from trade and profit increase as a result, and Brett is now looking to expand the business by opening another centre in the area for Lewis and Toby to run themselves. 

To find out about accessing fully funded training and business support through Heart of the South West Apprenticeship Service, businesses can contact us here. Alternatively email us via or ring 01752 968026.

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