On World Mental Health Day (Monday, 10th October) Autotech Academy is reinforcing our commitment to young talent entering the automotive industry. From pledging to train our internal team to ensure they have the necessary skills to support newly qualified automotive students entering the sector, to creating a toolkit for employers.
In a direct bid to create a culture of change within the industry, Autotech Academy will be equipping newly qualified vehicle technicians and MOT testers with the skills to easily spot the early signs of mental health issues with peers and know the routes available to access support – setting a precedent for future generations of vehicle technicians.
Since our launch in January last year, Autotech Academy has closed the loop between FE colleges and automotive employers through our 6-12 month paid internship initiative.
Autotech Academy has helped almost 150 newly qualified Level 3 automotive students secure a role, generating a new recruitment stream for the industry and the concept has been embraced by main dealer groups including Marshall Motor Group, Ford and Honda, along with the fast fit and independent sectors.
Equipping the interns with everything they need to start their automotive career, from a starter tool kit to a uniform, we also provide support to ensure the transition from college to employment is as smooth as possible.
Now, as employers step up efforts to counteract mental health challenges their employees are facing, Autotech Academy is set to enhance this support. This includes providing our internal team with dedicated training to ensure it can signpost interns when required and creating a dedicated toolkit for employers to help them build a positive working culture, with a collation of resources and tips to spot mental health issues, while promoting positive well-being.
According to the mental health charity Mind, 91% of people under the age of 24 have experienced mental distress or accessed mental health services since the onset of Covid-19. And in 2019, automotive charity BEN released a whitepaper which revealed that poor mental health could cost the automotive sector £1.2 billion a year.
This figure could well be exacerbated after two years of disruption and enforced isolation.
While the emphasis on mental health in the workplace has increased over recent years, young people entering employment for the first time can find it hard to speak up. This is particularly felt by the current generation of college leavers living with the Covid-19 legacy of remote learning and social restrictions.
“We are looking to build a foundation of support for young people entering the industry. A culture where mental health issues are discussed, and support is easily accessible,” comments Simon King, Managing Director of Autotech Group. “These newly qualified vehicle technicians are the future of the industry and embedding this within them will create a cultural shift.”