Industry alliance unveils Automotive Work Experience Week

School of Thought Automotive has announced a collaboration with the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) and Autotech Academy to launch Automotive Work Experience Week (AWE24), which will take place from 15-19 April.

Designed to get to the heart of the current 22,000-plus skills gap in the automotive industry, AWE24 is a call to action for the industry and, throughout the week, automotive employers will be encouraged to sign up to offer a week’s placement for at least one young person during 2024.

AWE24 aims to present the automotive sector as an exciting career choice for school leavers, address the current skills gap, and empower automotive employers to recognise the importance of offering work experience to young people. Leading industry figures are also set to share their work experience journeys.

A call to the youth

While emphasising the pivotal role of work experience in nurturing young talent and addressing the industry’s skills gap, AWE24 will also provide a new platform to highlight the diverse career paths available within the automotive sector.

School of Thought Automotive was established in 2019 and first launched at the Bodyshop Awards as a not-for-profit organisation to elevate the profile of the automotive industry in school years nine to 11, targeting pupils, parents, and educational institutions.

Bodyshop Magazine has previously reported on the skills shortage being faced within the automotive industry.

The IMI works with educators, adult guardians, schools, and students to identify the immense career opportunities available in automotive. Autotech Group provides a valuable pathway for newly qualified college leavers in securing their first automotive job through its Autotech Academy’s internship initiative.

Changing perceptions

Dave Reece, School of Thought co-founder, said:

“In today’s fast-changing automotive world, the importance of attracting and retaining young talent cannot be overstated. The automotive industry is steeped in myths and perceptions, with many believing there are limited progression opportunities. Through Automotive Work Experience Week, our united aim is to change this narrative and showcase the automotive sector as an innovative, diverse, and exciting career route and attract a new generation.

“We need to work collaboratively as an industry to attract young people to the automotive sector before they enter further education and work experience is a vital way to achieve this. Therefore, we are encouraging as many organisations as possible to sign up and commit to offering at least one young person one week’s work experience placement in 2024.”

If you’re an employer interested in taking part in AWE24, then head over to School of Thought Automotive’s sign up link, to register your interest.