Schools Training

Auto Mechanic Training, Coronation Street-style

19 MAR 2012
Career Path : Automotive

Sometimes it’s the characters that we grow up watching on TV that inspire us to pursue the profession of our dreams. But the fictional path to our dream career may not reflect the real world. This is true for auto mechanic training as portrayed in the long-running British soap opera, Coronation Street.

One of the central businesses on Coronation Street is Websters’ Auto Centre. “What does an auto centre have to do with transport training,” Canada’s Corrie fans might ask. The answer: on TV, plenty; off the screen, not so much.

When young Tyrone Dobbs first arrives on the street, it is to find employment at the supermarket collecting shopping carts. But, oddly, he is involved in a shopping-cart accident of sorts, in which a stray trolley scratches a superior’s brand new car. This “car accident” loses Tyrone his job, but propels him into an auto mechanic training apprenticeship at Websters’ Auto Centre, where owner Kevin Webster takes it upon himself to singlehandedly teach him the ropes. Apprenticeship as transport training? Canada’s Corrie fans will agree that it sounds old-fashioned. Is there no community college in Weatherfield offering an auto mechanic course?

In the past, it was true, auto mechanic training was accomplished primarily via apprenticeship. But, today, mainly because of the way the industry has been revolutionized by electronic technology, aspiring mechanics are much more likely to pursue college-level transport training. Canada, for example, has many community colleges that offer an auto mechanic course. Such colleges do not appear to have made it to the fictional land of Weatherfield.

Thankfully the pursuit of auto mechanic training on such an informal basis is not the only unrealistic element of Tyrone Dobbs’ life story. His not having taking an auto mechanic course pales in comparison to other aspects of his and Kevin’s story.

Kevin may have given Tyrone personalized auto mechanic training, but it is safe to say that the relationship between mentor and protégé has soured. Even without the credential of an auto mechanic course, Tyrone manages to rise through the ranks until he is Kevin’s partner, rather than employee. But Kevin, who is married with two children, has an affair with Tyrone’s wife Molly. Molly becomes pregnant by Kevin, but tries to pass the baby off as Tyrone’s.

This charade ends when Molly is killed in a tram crash. Soon, everyone on the street knows that Kevin, who once mentored Tyrone through auto mechanic training, has cuckolded him.

Upon reflection, the new ways may be best after all. Graduates of auto mechanic training who have taken a proper auto mechanic course are not likely to encounter half of the drama as the fictional Messrs. Dobbs and Webster.