East Lothian apprentice, 19, set to own same stake in Volkswagen campervan conversion specialists as its co-founder

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A 19-year-old apprentice is set to own as much stake in an East Lothian-based campervan conversion business as its co-founder.

Rob Henderson, who studied electrical engineering at Edinburgh College, is the latest recruit to Jerba Camervans in North Berwick after applying for an apprenticeship earlier this year.

The East Linton teenager was drawn to the Volkswagen conversion specialists - recognised by VW as a “body builder” - after hearing about their work ethos and employee benefits.

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Rob said: “Jerba caught my eye because it was a local business, and seemed to provide the platform for apprentices to develop different skills.

Rob Henderson, 19, is the latest recruit to the Jerba Campervans team.Rob Henderson, 19, is the latest recruit to the Jerba Campervans team.
Rob Henderson, 19, is the latest recruit to the Jerba Campervans team.

“I found the role on Twitter, and handed my CV in person, I felt that way I was able to create a good rapport from the off.

“The team have got me involved from the get go, and I have been shown the differing aspects of the business, which has given me the opportunity to understand everyone’s roles at Jerba, and enabled me to become more multi-skilled than I would’ve been otherwise, which is a highly employable trait.”

One of the aspects that attracted Rob to the apprenticeship was the T6.1 VW converters employee ownership model.

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Since going 100 percent employee-owned in 2018, Jerba has increased its productivity year-on-year and Rob believes the company’s employee-owned status has a direct result on the quality of work.

Rob Henderson.Rob Henderson.
Rob Henderson.

He added: “Working with the team you get an understanding of just how influential the model is. The quality of work is top of the range, and there is a lot of care and attention that goes into each conversion. There is a real care for the craft.

“You look forward to going to work, some people have been working here for 14 years. Everyone looks out for each other, and everyone receives the same flat rate bonus.”

Rob started his apprenticeship in October and, come February 2022, will be able to have an equal share in the company like the rest of the team.

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Jerba Campervans’ co-founder, Simon Poole, said: “It is very important that we continue to offer young people the opportunity to learn and develop new skills. It is an ethos that we have followed for many years, and will continue to do for many years to come.”

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