Autotech Academy is supporting IN ‘n’ OUT Autocentres to create a cohort of young talent across its nationwide sites.
Several Autotech Academy interns are already working within the MOT, service, and car maintenance specialist’s 28 UK sites, and the first of these interns recently ‘graduated’ and secured a permanent position within the Leeds site.
IN ‘n’ OUT’s CEO, Jon Morgan has emphasised the success of the initiative, drawing parallels to his own career path, while highlighting the need for the industry to attract and retain young talent.
“From the age of 13 I was working every Saturday in a local garage and, after leaving school, I took an apprenticeship and worked my way through the ranks. Attracting young people into the industry, developing them, and recognising the quality within them is vital to future of the automotive sector.”
While IN ‘n’ OUT run apprenticeship programmes across its network, Jon was acutely aware of the under-investment in creating opportunities for apprentices and newly qualified vehicle technicians across the entire industry.
Having previously worked with the recruitment division of Autotech Group, Jon immediately jumped on board when the automotive employment and training solutions specialist launched its Academy division at the start of 2021.
“There is a large volume of newly qualified Level 3 automotive students who leave college and then struggle to secure a position,” comments Jon. “We are continually looking at new initiatives to create a pipeline of talent, however I am well aware of the time it takes to source, interview and mentor these students. When the internship initiative through Autotech Academy was presented to me I immediately saw the value in it.”
Working as a conduit between colleges and automotive employers, Autotech Academy manages the administration and interview process, saving employers significant time.
Each intern is vetted and interviewed before being placed within a garage or dealership by Autotech Academy, who also equip them with a Teng Tools tool kit and a uniform. Significantly, once the intern makes the transition to permanent employment, the tool kit, worth around £1,000, is theirs to keep. Each intern is also offered additional training by Autotech Academy.
“The interns are presented to us in such a great way that it not only gives time-poor employers an ideal opportunity, but it also provides the interns with a fighting chance of getting a foothold on the automotive career ladder. It’s a risk free solution.”
The duration of an Autotech Academy internship is variable, along with the level of additional training the interns receive. The Academy team customises this depending on the client’s needs. In the case of IN ‘n’ OUT, the interns are on a three month internship, and Autotech Academy has arranged for each to receive training. This includes an IMI Level 3 Automotive Refrigerant Handling course (F-Gas) and IMI Level 2 and 3 Electric/Hybrid Vehicle training.
Discussing the path of the interns placed within the IN ‘n’ OUT sites, Jon comments: “Every employer can take their own approach, but we buddied the interns up with a qualified vehicle technician on site and got them to master specific skills well under supervision, for instance, fitting tyres, brake pads and servicing. Getting the interns to master smaller, repetitive tasks well and getting them highly skilled in these before moving on to another task makes them technically competent and builds their confidence quickly, while adding immediate value to the business.”
Shoaib Khan, 21, who qualified in a Level 3 Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair from Barnsley College in 2020, completed his 3 month internship with Leeds IN ‘n’ OUT in December, and has subsequently secured a permanent position as a Vehicle Technician.
“I definitely struggled after qualifying to find an automotive position,” comments Shoaib. “Every garage I approached required at least 2 years’ experience. I was beginning to question why colleges ran full-time automotive courses as it seemed the only route into the industry was through apprenticeships.”
To gain experience, Shoaib took a voluntary position within a local garage before receiving an email, through the IMI, from Autotech Academy. He quickly applied and secured an internship with Leeds IN ‘n’ OUT. “For the first week, I shadowed another vehicle technician but was quickly given independent tasks to do including servicing brakes and tyres. By repeatedly carrying out these tasks I was able to refine my skills, which also increased my confidence. From the outset, I was made to feel like part of the team, and everyone has been extremely supportive and welcoming.”
For more information visit www.autotechacademy.co.uk