Around 10,000 automotive students fail to secure a role within the automotive industry EVERY YEAR. They are often left stacking shelves in Tesco or serving in McDonald's once they qualify because they can either earn more, or struggle to find a role in the industry they are trained to work in. The vast majority go onto a career in another industry meaning the skills taught at college are lost for good. We all know that the sector can’t afford this loss. Here, Andy Savva*, an automotive aftersales expert, explains what employers should be doing to develop young talent and retain them in the future.
1. Give them time
This is one of the top reasons why automotive employers don’t recruit recently qualified vehicle technicians who lack experience, and why Autotech Academy created its internship initiative. An intern is equipped and holds all the theoretical knowledge to hit the ground running – as an employer you need to assign them with a mentor who they can shadow to gain experience.
Anyone starting a new role needs support to boost knowledge, confidence and faith in themselves and their ability to do their job. An intern in particular who is new to the workplace may lack confidence, so make sure all members of the team take time to chat informally to them, even if it’s over a cup of tea! Not doing so could impact their mental well-being and in turn their performance at work.
2. Offer praise
Don’t forget to offer praise when it’s deserved. Again, this will boost their confidence and their ability to work independently. Also, have faith in them. Don’t forget that while an intern may lack experience, they will hold all of the theory – and may even be more qualified on the latest technology than an employee who has worked in your garage for years!
3. Invest in your staff
Finally, it’s vital that as an employer you invest in all of your people. In business, the customer is number two, right behind the employee. If you do not take care of your employees, you won’t have to worry long about customers because you will not have any. If you take great care of your employees, they will take great care of your customers and your business will prosper.
Having this mentality will also send out a strong message to newly qualified technicians entering the industry, and help you attract the right talent.
* Andy Savva is one of the independent aftermarket’s most vocal and visible figureheads, known throughout the industry as ‘The Garage Inspector’. Andy is playing a vital role in driving awareness of Autotech Academy and the benefits of its internship programme.