Fix-it UK Ltd is a Wigan based charity primarily aimed at young people between the ages of 14 to 25 years.
Our aim is to improve the life chances, career choices and opportunities of young people who prefer to learn by doing things rather than an academic route into employment via further education.
Ian Tomlinson (Fix-it UK’s project director) founded the Charity in 2004 in partnership with Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council, as an alternative practical option for local schools to offer their students who could benefit from this type of learning experience.
Ian says that he would have loved to have had the opportunity to study in this way when he was at school but no opening was available for him to do what he really wanted to do which was to get a job in the motor industry working on cars and trucks.
More recently he had the opportunity to create a centre that would provide this opportunity for school aged children and unemployed young people to find something they are good at, give them the confidence to move on in life and give them hope for the future.
‘I didn’t enjoy School, it wasn’t for me, I left with no qualifications and had to make my own way’. He adds ‘I qualified as a youth worker whilst still working as a mechanic. Listening to the young people I worked with, I realised that I could create an alternative pathway for young people to enjoy learning in a way that suited their learning style and which complimented their academic studies’.
By working in closely with local schools we have developed a training and personal development programme that helps young people, like I was – a long time ago- to find a place where they fit, something they are good at and something that builds their confidence and self esteem so they can find a place in society.
Fix-it UK Ltd looks and feels like a ‘garage’ work place, the young people quickly respond to this setting and enjoy the learning experience.
At the end of their studies they have a Motor Industry recognised qualification to show for their efforts and importantly, gain the confidence to sit in front of a potential employer or go further, enrolling at college to continue their studies. Additionally, Fix-it UK can provide students with a meaningful work related job reference to help in their search for employment.
We are a big family now, well over 1000 young people have benefited from our training since 2004 and we are all proud of their achievements.
If you are interested in attending one of our courses, just call or email us and come and have a look around at any time. We regularly put on ‘taster days’ for Wigan schools. Alternatively you can have a individual tour of the centre with parents or carers. The staff are very proud of the work done here and are happy to show you around the centre and facilities. Visitors and potential students can see at first hand what is on offer and how it could help them make a success of their future.
Fix-it UK Ltd provides a unique opportunitiy for local young people to develop valuable skills, gain industry recognised qualifications and acquire practical work experience in motor vehicle maintenance.
Our organisation began life in 2002 as a Wigan Community Safety team pilot project. Following the success of a two-year pilot, Fix-it UK Ltd was established as an independent charity enabling it to widen its scope and thereby support a greater number of youngsters.
Using the attraction of working with cars (and other motor vehicles) to engage with and motivate young people attending our programmes, our activities and programmes have consistently proved to appeal and effectively engage young people.
Over 75% of our programme involves practical ‘hands-on’ activity in our purpose built workshop. This is supported by theoretical classroom training sessions to enable our staff to assess progress made and skill level attained by young people and award certification accordingly.