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We caught up with Callum Bamsey, winner of this year’s ‘Young Mechanic’ award at the Automechanika Birmingham Garage Awards 2024. Callum works at CCM in Crawley and shares with us his journey in the automotive industry, his passion for diagnostics and self-development and what advice he would give to someone looking to follow in his footsteps.

Tell us how you got your start in the automotive industry and what sparked your interest in diagnostics?

When I started my apprenticeship, I spent a lot of my evenings with my head in books and Google, so I quickly learnt how to expand my knowledge and understanding of how basic components worked. This sparked my journey into in-depth diagnostics.

Going beyond code, reading and decrypting live data, and learning to use a PicoScope; from doing easy relative compression tests to more complex things, such as diagnosing shorted or interrupted CAN signals.

What encouraged you to enter the industry?

My grandad was one of my biggest idols when I was young. We would often spend hours on a Saturday buying tools that we knew we’d probably never use but still purchased. My grandad unfortunately died suddenly due to an unexpected heart condition, which left me lost and with a great void in my life. To this day, I always think every time I’m buying tools, that he’d be there buying even more than I do.

One of my other reasons was that I strive to make people with any level of mechanical knowledge understand what parts/labour are required to get their vehicle back on the road safely and why. This is why I try my best to be better, and consistently improve my skills, because there is always room for development.

Where do you currently work and how long have you been there?

I currently work at CCM at their site based just outside of Crawley. I joined there in late 2020 and am truly enjoying my time here and the support from my teammates.

What skills have you obtained during your training/employment?

I started at CCM with the promise that they would invest in my knowledge, help me develop my skillset and forge my career in the direction I want. They’ve stood by that, and every day is still a school day. I’ve always had a passion for learning new skills. I enjoy problem solving and performing diagnostics is exactly that.

Just some of the training courses and certifications I’ve completed since joining in 2020, include: Class 5 MOT training; ODIS Diagnostic Systems; AdBlue and NOx Reduction Systems; IMI Automotive Oscilloscope; and Diagnostic Test Procedures.

Going forward, I will be one of the first technicians here to attend the Tech Topics’ Master Technician course this year. I’m also hoping to follow in our owner Stuart's footsteps and win the Top Technician Award too, but that’s something for the future.

What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?

I really enjoy the challenges within the automotive industry as it constantly evolves, meaning I need to keep myself up to date with continuous learning and adaptation of diagnostic techniques. Most importantly, I enjoy working with my team and appreciate the way our company is run, fostering a supportive and dynamic work environment.

What advice would you give someone considering a career in motor mechanics?

My advice would be to never give up. This industry can be tough and demanding, which can make it easy to feel discouraged. However, perseverance is key. Strive to be the best and take pride in accomplishing tasks that others may find difficult. It's this sense of achievement and continuous growth that drives me.

How does it feel to win the award?

It felt unreal! I wasn’t expecting to even get to the finale, let alone win it. I feel that it’s the first big achievement I’ve made since I started in the industry and hopefully, the first of many more to come.

Find out more about CCM Garage: https://ccmhelp.co.uk/