Autotech Academy - helping newly qualified technicians get onto the automotive career ladder
A brand new initiative has been launched to help thousands of students get a foothold on the automotive career ladder, while enabling FE Colleges draw down on future funding – Autotech Academy.
Created by the Autotech Group, a company committed to creating training and recruitment solutions for the automotive industry, including OEMs such as Ford, Skoda, Toyota and BMW along with independent garages and workshops, Autotech Academy is set to help fill the automotive skills funnel, and counteract the shortage of fresh talent entering the industry.
Providing qualified college leavers with a gateway into the industry through a paid internship, Autotech Academy will help hundreds of young people gain valuable work experience, and make the transition into full-time automotive employment within 3 to 12 months.
Far from being a replacement solution, Autotech Academy is set to complement apprenticeship programmes as a route to harness a sustainable pipeline of young talent.
Autotech Academy will equip interns with their first toolbox, uniform, and safety workwear where applicable. They will also continually monitor the intern’s progress and provide ongoing technical training. This will either be delivered through a vehicle manufacturer’s own training facility, or through equivalent OEM standard training such as Bosch. Every intern will also be trained to Level 3 IMI Electric Vehicle accreditation.
“Every year, around 10,000 Level 1 to 3 automotive students are lost to the industry after qualifying because they struggle to secure a role,” comments Gavin White, Autotech Group CEO. “Couple this with the fact that investment in future technicians has significantly dropped, particularly during the pandemic where there was an 87% fall in apprentice recruitment, the industry is reaching a critical point.”
"Through Autotech Academy we are offering the industry a ‘grow your own’ concept which will help create the steady stream of young talent it vitally needs to thrive.”
While armed with the theoretical knowledge, college leavers lack experience to hit the ground running – which is often a deterrent to many time poor garage owners or dealerships.
Working in partnership with further education colleges and automotive employers, Autotech Academy will collaborate with colleges to identify current and recently qualified students with the right qualities, skills and attitude to then find them the right paid internship position. The solution will also help FE Colleges increase the percentage of work placements secured for students, which will ultimately help them draw down future funding.
Autotech Academy will work with individuals qualified in Levels 1-3 across a range of automotive courses; light vehicle and heavy vehicle maintenance & repair, motorsport maintenance and repair, motorcycle maintenance & repair, vehicle accident and repair – Body / Paint, and Motorsport Engineering.
Wendy Walker-Graham, from Nottingham College, which has one of the most established automotive training provisions, comments: “There are so many young people who are desperate to get into the automotive trade and yet still so many job roles that the trade tell me are difficult to fill – the launch of Autotech Academy could be the missing link that we, the colleges, need.”
“The high number of automotive students we see each year is demonstrative of the fact that young people are looking at the industry as a career. But there is an expectation that these young people will be the finished product, they aren’t. They need the opportunity, and we see the launch of Autotech Academy as the ideal conduit between both the colleges and the industry to make this happen. The six months internship will not only equip the students with vital experience, but also instil valuable confidence.”
Not unlike Autotech Recruit’s temporary recruitment model, where garages pay an hourly fee for vehicle technicians, garages, or any maintenance repair employer, will pay an hourly rate for a fully vetted, and fully equipped, intern.
At the end of the internship period, the employer can either decide to employ the intern free of charge* on a full-time basis, or not - effectively a ‘try before you buy’ solution.
James Mackay, Director of Autotech Academy, comments: “Through Autotech Academy, vehicle manufacturers, dealerships, and independent garages can expect to break even within six weeks. And within 3 to 12 months, they will have a fully qualified, brand-loyal, trained vehicle technician.”
Autotech Academy has already received widespread backing from across the industry including, The IMI, IAAF, NTDA, The Automotive 30% Club, MENable, The IMI’s TechSafe™ Sector Advisory Group, Bosch and Teng Tools.