Andy Palmer – From Apprentice to CEO of Aston Martin #ApprenticeStories

We believe that Andy Palmer, the CEO of the premium car manufacturer Aston Martin, is a great role model for young people. It is quite extraordinary that he literally started from the bottom to get where he is today, kick starting his career as an apprentice.

Andy always knew that he wanted to get into the car industry and didn’t really care much for school. He left education when he was 16 and quickly began his career. He started his journey at UK Automotive Products Limited, a company that at the time manufactured brakes and clutches for cars. His role? A Technical Apprentice. This was ideal for Andy, he was in an industry that he always knew he wanted to be a part of, and he didn’t have to spend 4 years at University. It really was a true alternative to university.

He completed his Apprenticeship, and after 6 years he got his first managerial role in a company. He was only 22! In an interview on a BBC Podcast, he said his peers had a lot less experience than he did. This was because he went down the Apprenticeship route, whereas his peers went down the graduate route. He had 6 years of work experience, something that is incredibly valuable in any profession, especially if you are in a role that has a huge amount of responsibility.

From his experience as an apprentice, what he learned on the job stood him in good stead throughout his career. It’s true, you learn a lot from simply being in the work environment about different processes and how things work, Andy definitely benefited from it. He said it was an education that wasn’t just academic, which is the whole idea of an apprenticeship.

Andy combined what he learned as an apprentice with various other qualifications throughout his career, including in management. This allowed him to become a Director at Nissan, and then eventually the CEO at Aston Martin.

Aston Martin


Alongside his job, he actually studied for a PHD in Engineering Management, making him an expert in his field. More of his accomplishments include a Master’s degree in product engineering, a Chartered Engineer status, a fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and furthermore holding a diploma in Industrial Management. Not bad. To say that he has achieved so much whilst still working at some of the biggest car manufacturers in the world is quite remarkable. You can get a degree at any age, you don’t have to go to University as soon as you leave school, as proven by Andy.

Andy Palmer is a prime example of how you can get an apprenticeship straight from leaving school and achieve success throughout life. Being passionate about cars, you can’t get much more successful than being a CEO of Aston Martin!