REDDITCH played host to the Lord Mayor of Birmingham.
Councillor Mohammed Azim and his consort Ms Bushra Bi were visiting the town’s Vehicle Inspection and Training Services (VIATS) in Astwood Bank to see a MechaniX course in action.
Backed by Haynes, publishers of every amateur car mechanic’s bible, MechaniX aims to give youngsters practical skills and a qualification at the end of it.
Showing off their new-found skills were nine youngsters from the 35th Girls Brigade based in Northfield who were busy renovating an old VW van to convert it into a coffee van for their many functions.
“It was a really good day – our guests arrived early and left late so they stayed much longer than we’d expected and seemed very impressed,” said project co-ordinator Paul Lawry.
This was the first MechaniX course the Redditch-based VIATS team had delivered in its home town, the bulk of them taking place in London where match-funding is available.
“We’ve been lucky in the help we’ve had in London but we’re certainly looking for other people and organisations to do this for,” said Paul.
Youngsters learn practical mechanical skills, – even Maths and English lessons if they’re needed – and at the end of it leave with a Level 3 entry qualification.
“It gives them skills so they can go on and find a job, and not necessarily in the motor trade,” said Paul.
Meanwhile the teenagers from the Girls Brigade have finished all the mechanical work and will be turning their attention to fitting out their new coffee van.