Wednesday 11 May 2011


A West Cumbrian technician is celebrating reaching the top of his profession after qualifying from a national programme.

Joseph Hyslop recently gained his master technician status after working his way through the Volkswagen Academy training programme.

The 60-year-old is one of the most experienced technicians in the UK and has spent all his working life in the motor industry, 33 of which have been at Walkingshaw Volkswagen in Workington.

Now one of the UK’s top Volkswagen technicians, he will pass on his 44 years’ of experience to the Lillyhall site’s apprentice technicians.

He said: “I am over the moon to I have reached the top of my profession and it’s extremely rewarding to know I can now pass on my knowledge and experience to the next generation of technicians.

“I’m very grateful to Walkingshaw Volkswagen for giving me the chance to prove my worth, believing in me and for investing in my training.”

Walkingshaw Volkswagen’s brand manager, Andy Walkingshaw, said: “Joseph is thoroughly professional in his job and this qualification is reward for his efforts.

“He’s hard working, intelligent and the apprentices at Walkingshaw are lucky to have a technician of his calibre teaching them.

“It costs approximately £100,000 for a technician to reach master technician status, but Joseph is worth every penny.”

Tuesday 3 May 2011


A young car enthusiast from Altrincham has embarked on three-year apprenticeship with the aim of becoming the best in the business.

Seventeen-year-old Tom Critchley has been accepted by Altrincham Volkswagen retailer Gilbert Lawton to be the latest recruit on the technician apprenticeship scheme.

Over the next three years Gilbert Lawton will invest nearly £30,000 to train Tom through to technician status.

Tom is now looking forward to achieving his ambition of working on Volkswagen vehicles.

He said: “I love all types of vehicles and this is the only job I have ever wanted to do. I am passionate about the Volkswagen brand and I want to go as far in my career as I can.

“I am over the moon to I be given this opportunity and very grateful to Gilbert Lawton Volkswagen for giving me this chance.”

Gilbert Lawton’s service manager, Mike Davies, said: “In the current economic climate, it’s important local businesses give youngsters the opportunity to learn and develop a career.

“Tom’s passion for cars was one of the main reasons why he’s been given this place on the apprenticeship programme.

“He may only be 17, but I’m confident Tom will come through the three years with flying colours.”


A retailer has boosted the career of three Bolton men, after promoting them to be the site’s new look sales team.

Smith Knight Fay Volkswagen has given Mike Critchley (35), Ian Wood (27) and Dean Ashworth (30) the task of running the businesses growing sales department.

Led by new sales manager Mike, the new team will be tasked with keeping the retailer in the top ten performing Volkswagen sites in the country.

He will be assisted by sales controller Dean and business manager Ian.

The retailer was named the seventh out of 215 in the country in 2010 and Smith Knight Fay’s brand manager, Barry Morrison, is thrilled all three have accepted their new roles.

He said: “Mike, Ian and Dean have shown great enthusiasm and ability during their time at Smith Knight Fay, and the promotions are just reward for their efforts.

“All three played big roles in the business being named one of Volkswagen’s best for customer satisfaction in 2010 and I know they will strive to make the site number one in 2011.”

Mike, who previously worked as a hairdresser, concluded: “We’re all delighted with the promotions and want to continue progressing our careers even further in the coming years.

“It’s a great place to work at and we can’t thank Barry and Smith Knight Fay enough for believing in us.”


A Crewe business has boosted its team by appointing one of the region’s most experienced managers.

Multi award-winning Ben Gilbert, from Tarporley, has joined Crewe Volkswagen as brand manager, bringing with him almost 15 years’ experience in the north west motor industry.

The 37-year-old has worked for Volkswagen for five years retailer excellence award in 2009 and best customer service for after sales in the UK, in 2006.

Ben started his career as a graduate management trainee after leaving university in 1987, before climbing the career ladder with roles including sales manager and after sales manager.

He said: “I’m delighted to have accepted the role and my first task will be getting to know the staff and customers.

“This is a very exciting challenge and one that I’m looking forward to.

“My personal goal is to make Crewe Volkswagen an award winning retailer that delivers fantastic customer service.”