Industry award opens automotive applications

Autocar and SMMT have started this year’s search for the next generation of automotive industry innovators, announcing applications for the Autocar Courland Next Generation Award 2015 now open.

Supported by SMMT, the Next Generation Award throws down the gauntlet to those looking to pursue a career in the thriving automotive sector. The prize is unique, with the winner gaining six months of invaluable hands-on work experience at automotive manufacturers Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren Automotive, Peugeot, Skoda and Toyota, all of which sponsor the award. A £9,000 cash prize is also up for grabs.

Although previously the award was only open to students, for 2015 the accolade will be open to all 17-25 year olds in the UK. To enter the award, applicants must submit an original concept or innovative technology that would significantly improve the UK automotive sector in one of four key categories – mobility, connectivity, sustainability or customer experience.

The award, which is now in its seventh year, has acted as a launch pad for many young people’s careers in the automotive sector. 2011 runner-up Katie Jones is now Colour and Materials designer at Jaguar Land Rover, while 2012 finalist Jonathan Maynard is Lead Engineer, Interior and Exterior Components at Aston Martin, and 2012 winner Roberto Antonio Pace is Design Engineer at McLaren Automotive. Last year’s winner Nicole Agbahas also just begun her work experience at UK automotive manufacturers as part of her prize.

Adam Pumfrey, Courland Automotive chief operating officer, said, ‘It has become abundantly clear to us that the automotive industry is in real need of new young candidates to fill the vast variety of roles the sector has on offer.  We support this award because it offers an unparalleled opportunity for the bright industry leaders of tomorrow to gain first-hand experience of what it’s truly like to work across the various departments of some of the best known brands in the business, highlighting the fabulous range of careers open to those with a passion for automotive business.’

Entries for the Autocar Courland Award 2015 are now open until 17:00 on Friday 28 August, when six finalists will be selected to present their innovation to a panel of industry leaders in November. The winner will be announced at the 99th SMMT Annual Dinner on Tuesday 24 November. For more information and to apply for the award, visit the Autocar Next Generation Award website.