Autotech Academy bridging skills gap

To mark National Intern Week, Autotech Academy has reported that it has helped over 150 young people gain employment within the industry.

It has also generated a new recruitment stream for the sector which has been plagued by a skills shortage for years.

Embraced by main dealer groups including Marshall Motor Group, Ford and Honda, along with the fast fit and independent sectors, Autotech Academy identifies qualifying Level 3 automotive students, equips them with a starter tool kit and uniform, before placing them with an employer for a period of six-12 months on a paid internship.

At the end of the internship the employer can decide to employ the intern on a permanent basis with no recruitment fees – a risk-free solution.

Simon King, managing director of Autotech Group, said: “We have effectively taken the pain away from employers. The fact that so many automotive employers are embracing the concept is demonstrative of the hole in the market that Autotech Academy is filling.”

More than two thirds of interns placed into the industry by Autotech Academy are successfully transitioning to permanent employment; this is in stark contrast to the reported 10,000 students who are graduating each year with an automotive qualification but then find it difficult to find a role.

King said: “It seems crazy when you see this figure on paper, but the simple fact is that the link between colleges and employers wasn’t strong enough and employers don’t have the bandwidth, in the midst of the high demand they are facing, to vet, recruit and mentor newly qualified automotive students.”

He explained the difference between an apprentice and a paid intern is significant; apprentices have no automotive education while an intern is fully qualified with the latest theoretical training and will work full time. Further, they do not require day release to attend college as an apprentice would.

King conluded: While the interns have the right qualifications, they’ll initially need to be directed and potentially shadow people to gain the confidence to put their knowledge into practice. However, by all accounts, the interns placed by Autotech Academy are working independently very quickly and offer an immediate extra pair of hands.”