Tutor helps paint a brighter future for students

Tutor helps paint a brighter future for students

14th November 2013


VINTAGE cars, diggers and even fishing boats are just some of the machinery painter Richard Johnson has turned his hand to spraying.

And now the 26-year-old has returned to his old college to teach the next generation of accident repairers the skills of his trade.

Middlesbrough-born Richard has been appointed to Darlington College’s automotive department to pass on his knowledge of paint spraying.

His love of things automotive started as a child in Redcar when he helped his father build a kit car.

After leaving school he gained an apprenticeship as a panel beater and paint sprayer and studied his NVQ Level 2 and 3 at Darlington College.

He left a North-East dealership to work at Teesport repairing new cars that had been damaged in transit, before moving away from the region to restore old minis and camper vans and then switching to a JCB production line to paint equipment.

After gaining a teaching qualification he volunteered to work at Darlington College where he has now been taken on as a professional tutor.

“It did feel a little strange working alongside people who used to be my tutors but they have been very welcoming,” he said.

“It is a great college and the paint booth is the same one used by Aston Martin, which is fabulous. We are about to start renovating an old bus which will become a promotional vehicle that we will be able to take around schools to encourage young people into engineering.”

Curriculum manager for engineering and automotive Lee Childs said: “It is fantastic to welcome back a former student, especially when he has gained such varied experience in the trade.

“His enthusiasm and expertise can’t fail to inspire the students in an area which has seen real growth.”

When he is not at college Richard is busy restoring his classic car – a 1978 Mini Clubman.

“It’s like a little go-kart,” he said. “It is old English white with a black roof, on 10in wheels and lowered suspension. There’s nothing like it.”

For more information on opportunities at Darlington College contact (01325) 503030 or log on to www.darlington.ac.uk.

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