Faced with the need for a fresh approach to attract young people into the motor sector, the not-for-profit School of Thought was launched in 2019.
Made up of a collective of automotive industry figures who act as ambassadors to raise the profile of the sector amongst schools, parents and young people, the School of Thought works with educational organisations including STEM UK, Youth Employment UK, and Career Wales, to ensure that the automotive industry becomes an appealing career option for students.
Personally impacted by the skill shortage while working as a Service Manager, Gavin co-founded Autotech Group in 2010. While initially focusing on placing temporary vehicle technicians and MOT testers into the industry to keep workshops running, the company have subsequently launched separate training and academy divisions in a bid to stem the skills shortage.
Autotech Academy helps qualified automotive college leavers secure a role within the industry via a paid internship. The initiative has gained widespread traction across the sector since its launch in early 2021, with interns working in dealership sites and fast fit centres across the UK. Many have also gone on to secure permanent employment following an internship.
“There has been a huge appetite for Autotech Academy since its launch, which is illustrative of the high demand the industry has for fresh talent,” comments Gavin. “However, while this supports the transition of automotive students into the industry, we need to do more to raise the profile to a younger age group to get them onto these college courses and apprenticeship schemes in the first place.”
“This is why I am delighted to have been invited onto the School of Thought board and be part of a dynamic group committed to driving change and raising the profile of the industry to attract fresh talent who will sustain it well into the future.”
“We are delighted to welcome Gavin on board,” comments Dave Reece, who co-founded School of Thought with Julie Eley. “He will bring energy, passion, and expertise to School of Thought and help us shape the future and steer it in the right direction. The UK’s automotive industry will stand the test of time, we just need to work together as ambassadors to bring a wealth of new talent in and close the loop.”