Knocked Back, But Never Knocked Out

Knocked Back, But Never Knocked Out

This article was originally published on 9 February 2022

It's great to see MotorPro covering the story of Autotech Academy intern, Rajan Kainth, and his route into the automotive industry.

If you are a member of the IMI, you can read the full article in the January 2022 issue of the magazine. If you don't have access to this publication, MotorPro has kindly agreed for us to share the article on our website.

RAJAN KAINTH studied at Walsall College and qualified with a Level 3 in Light Vehicle Maintenance & Repair. He now works at The Volkswagen Van Centre in Birmingham. But his route into the industry wasn't straightforward, and it took a great deal of persistence for him to land his dream role.

Initially, Rajan struggled to secure a join in the automotive industry after repeatedly being told that he needed at least three to five years' experience. The knockbacks happened so frequently that he eventually took a job in a warehouse just to earn some money. But his passion for cars, even when things didn't go according to plan, never dimmed.

Rajan always felt that he was better off working with his hands rather than taking a more academic route. He didn't go to college straight from school, and it was only after working in the service sector for a while that he decided to try and follow his dream by applying. Once accepted, he found that he loved the course because it fuelled his enthusiasm for working with cars. "It helped me to follow my passion and work in an industry I love," he says.

Unfortunately, completing his studies at college was just the first of several hurdles for Rajan. After qualifying, he realised that finding a job was going to be a challenge. Of the 50 people on his course, Rajan believes that just him and one other person have actually secured a role in the industry.

And it was a bumpy ride to get that far. He contacted independent businesses and dealer groups recruiting for technician roles and even considered going down the apprenticeship route just to secure a role. However, he couldn't shake the feeling that "I may as well have written off the last three years if I did that," he says. Instead, he contacted Autotech Group about a position. After some discussion, the conversation pointed him towards Autotech Academy, a business which runs internships to help get students into the industry.

It was the piece of luck that Rajan had been waiting for. He started his six-month placement with The Volkswagen Van Centre in Birmingham and hasn't looked back.

The first couple of weeks saw Rajan and two other interns shadowing technicians, but it didn't take long for him to pick up some serious responsibility. He was thrown in at the deep end and worked on a cylinder head. He was nervous about this as the most he had previously worked on was brakes and servicing, but the team at VW oversaw his work to boost his confidence.

The VW team are still overseeing and assessing his work, but he’s now working independently and is hopeful that he'll be employed by them at the end of the internship. "They're making positive noises, and if l keep going the way I am, I'm hopeful that it'll happen," he says.

"At the end of the day though, if they don't I'll still have six months' experience under my belt, which is far more than many of my college peers have managed to pick up. The industry needs to commit to young people like myself who know all the theory but lack the experience," says Kainth.

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