RB: What is your favourite holiday destination?
PP: Lakka in Paxos, Greece - there are enough restaurants not to have to eat in the same place twice and you are never more than 50 yards from the sea.
RB: What car do you drive?
PP: An Audi A4 Avant.
RB: What are your hobbies?
PP: I’m a member of the national committee of the Lambretta Club of Great Britain and I help organise events for our 5,000 members. About 650 of our members will be heading to Italy in June for this year’s Euro Lambretta which will be attended by 2,000 riders from 22 countries. Also, my sons and I are long-suffering Middlesbrough FC supporters.
RB: How did you get into the industry?
PP: I was encouraged by my dad to get an apprenticeship and served my time at United Automobile Services, part of the old National Bus Network and later part of the Arriva Group. I found myself in an organisation that had opportunities for progression and supportive managers.
RB: How can we encourage more young people into the industry?
PP: Make them aware of how diverse our industry is and the opportunities it offers. We are getting better at engaging with schools and colleges but we could do better. Also we can be guilty of only looking for the academic high flyers when looking for technicians. Young people who don’t leave education with a fistful of certificates may be suited to a career in vehicle maintenance and be more likely to stay.
RB: What is the outlook for your sector of the market over the next 12 months?
PP: Healthy, with a period of stability on emission standards with the introduction of Euro-6c.
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