News Archive

Gemini Supports future talent with 40 apprenticeships

Following a successful Gemini Industry Showcase Event in Worcester, Gemini's MD Dave Sargeant has committed to employ 40 new apprentices through the AutoRaise Multi-Skilled programme in 2017.

Following a successful Gemini Industry Showcase Event in Worcester, Gemini’s MD Dave Sargeant has committed to employ 40 new apprentices through the AutoRaise Multi-Skilled programme in 2017.

AutoRaise – the vehicle repair industry charity – is proud to announce that Dave Sargeant, Managing Director of the UK’s second largest independent bodyshop group, Gemini, has committed to employ 40 new apprentices through the AutoRaise Multi-Skilled programme in 2017.

The investment in apprenticeships at Gemini will cover the whole group with two apprentices at each of Gemini’s 19 sites.

The successful Gemini Industry Showcase Event was held at Gemini’s Worcester site on Wednesday 15th March – and heralds the beginning of the apprenticeship journey. The event was supported by every sector of the industry, including AutoRaise Platinum partners, LV insurance, Morelli, Enterprise, RM, Audatex and Fix Auto – who were all in attendance – and actively engaged with the students and their parents.

Dave Sargeant explained: “Gemini was overwhelmed with the charity and support of all the suppliers and customers who helped put on a brilliant display including BIYP, Eco repairs, Indasa, LKQ, Axalta, Pro- align, S&B college, Emtec College, Car-o-liner, Sandicliffe, EZI methods, Rybrook BMW, Drayton Mercedes, The RMI, Bodyshop magazine and ABP chairman, David Cresswell, plus esure, who brought along their Pink Cadillac.

“To have industry heavyweights in the Gemini site was a very proud moment, the likes of Chris Oliver and Karl Vella in your Bodyshop doesn’t happen every day, I hope it was a much a pleasure for them as it was for Gemini to have them,” said Dave. “We held a pre event meeting the week before the event with all the suppliers who were due to attend and I was blown away at the passion and attitude for delivering a great event. Roger Dunn from Morelli pointed out that it wasn’t about individual businesses – they were here to promote themselves – it was to encourage and engage with young people to promote our industry. It did seem strange to ask competing suppliers to collaborate on the night but they all did it warmly and freely. It just shows what a fantastic industry we have and that the continued investment in people is key to everyone.”

Guests included young people and parents who took part in live demonstrations with virtual spraying and virtual welding and hands-on polishing and plastic welding demos both big hits on the night. The event followed the natural process of repairing a vehicle, from estimating the damage, wheel alignment with Pro- Align’s Hunter, checking electrical faults with Audatex VHC, through to Car-O-Liner’s Point X system, plastic repairs, paint prep, spraying and polishing. “Everything was covered,” said Dave.

The attendees had the opportunity to look around the fantastic display of vehicles, all with their very own Top Trump card on a stand in front of them. Gemini held a competition where young people had to find the answers to seven questions that involved the cards, from the fastest 0-60 (which was 1 second from the drag racing car), to the cheapest car – the Morris 8 (£114 new!)

Dave thanked the owners of the cars, who attended the event and enjoyed themselves thoroughly talking about their pride and joys, and the vintage caravan – “Doris” – who helped keep everyone fed and watered through the evening, with wonderful coffees and homemade cakes.

The Stig also made an appearance coning through the smoke screen to the sound of the McLaren’s engine, plenty of selfies were taken during the evening, and a video was recorded by the resident Showcase video man, Jonny.

“We needed 2 new apprentices from the event for the Worcester site and we achieved exactly that,” said Dave “so a great first event for Gemini. There will be more to follow this across our other sites – both North and South.”

Dave is proud of the Gemini Team who all played a huge part in the evening: “their enthusiasm was infectious,” he said. “Most of the site managers were guides for each party of attendees, with head office staff hosting the reception and handing out goodie bags at the end of the evening.

“Tony Hill, the Group’s Operations and Compliance Manager, was instrumental in putting the evening together and what he achieved was amazing. We have a great blueprint now for future events and Gemini would be happy to share this with other repairers who are thinking of holding one of these events in the future.

“Autoraise is a fantastic charity and is really causing a stir in the industry,” said Dave, “The skills shortage needs addressing and with the amazing people involved and the partners all supporting it, it can’t fail.”

Bob Linwood, Chief Executive Officer, AutoRaise said Dave Sargeant, Tony Hill and the Gemini team followed “admirably” in the footsteps of Rye Street Group, Motofix and Alton Cars by putting a “herculean” effort to showcase our industry to local young people and capture new apprentices. “Every young person who attended received a personalised service in terms of introductions to the various processes and products used in a modern vehicle repair facility and they also got to see some fantastic cars in the process,” said Bob. “Gemini’s more tailored approach worked brilliantly, which presents a range of options for the now-20 strong list of repairers who we are engaged with about hosting their own event.”

It’s essential that the industry gets behind addressing the skills shortage, whether it be taking on new apprentices, hosting Industry Showcase Events or simply helping to spread the word. Please visit for full information on how to get involved.

Scroll to Top