SMMT and Ben team up to drive apprenticeships

Britain’s automotive industry has introduced a new pilot scheme to helps fund driving lessons for new apprentices in the sector.

Drive to Thrive has been launched by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Charitable Trust Fund in partnership with automotive charity Ben,

Apprentices taking part in Drive to Thrive will receive up to 44 hours of funded driving lessons while learning their trade, with the pilot fund supporting 10 apprentices in its first year.

Participants must be aged 17 to 21 years old and meet eligibility criteria such as coming from a disadvantaged background.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Apprentices have been a driving force behind Britain’s automotive industry for generations and they have never been more important, as employers seek cutting-edge skills for the new technologies that will power our future mobility. These technologies offer exciting career paths but accessing them often depends on having access to personal mobility. Drive to Thrive will help automotive businesses attract the next generation of top talent, while giving apprentices the ability to turbocharge their careers and deliver the growth that is essential to our future success.”

Rachel Clift, director of health and wellbeing, Ben, said: “We’re delighted to be involved in this important initiative. It’s a win-win situation, providing opportunities for young people from disadvantaged and minority backgrounds, and bringing much-needed new talent into the automotive industry. The future of our industry requires a whole new skillset with the rise in EVs and new technologies. We’re looking forward to working closely with the SMMT and supporting the workforce of the future.”