Tutor Profile - Nick McKenzie
18 September 2019
Motor Vehicle, Bicycles & Welding
Motor vehicle and bicycle maintenance
'From an early age I’d always been interested in mechanical objects and was good at practical subjects at school: metalwork, woodwork, technical drawing and art. I started to get interested in car mechanics because my uncle was a mechanic - when he was doing his private work I used to help him by handing him the spanners!
On leaving school I went straight into a small family-run repair garage and spent over five years there, gaining my C&G certificates. After this I moved on to join Datsun (part of Nissan), staying for another five to six years until business changes led to restructuring. I worked for some smaller garages after this, eventually becoming a self-employed mobile mechanic and building up a private customer following, before going on to start my teaching career.
I started teaching at Tower Hamlets College and Lewisham College, then moving on to the Macbeth Centre. I’ve been Programme Leader and teaching here ever since, for over sixteen years. Teaching has allowed me to capitalise on my previous knowledge and experience of automotive technology and has given me a work environment conducive to good health. The greatest bit about the job is passing on my knowledge and providing information about motor vehicle technology but most of all, empowering others.
My style of teaching is relaxed, informative, jokey, inclusive, and I am extremely patient and welcoming. We have a wide range of courses including: motor vehicle maintenance (beginners and intermediate), classic car maintenance, C & G level 1 (adults) and entry 3 (for 16-18s) car maintenance, welding and light metalwork, bicycle maintenance levels 1 and 2.
Despite the range of subjects and facilities the motor vehicle department offers, I’m of the mind that we have more to give and to achieve, especially in the area of working with young people, with the right mix of environment, tutors and resources.
Recently, a current student invited me to join his fledgling race team. We’re four of us altogether - three drivers and myself. I look after both the maintenance of the car and its performance during race meetings. This is a dream-come-true for me as it’s something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember! I’m hoping that this new direction will open up many possibilities - and I can also use this to introduce young people we work with into the world of motor sport and classic cars'.