Sponsored content: Connecting students with companies is the key to closing the skills gap, and Autotech Academy wants to make that process as simple as possible

There’s no denying that the automotive industry needs to recruit fresh talent. It’s facing a huge skills shortage as we shift away from combustion engines towards electrification. But that’s only part of the story.

The automotive industry is now facing far greater competition for expertise than ever before. That’s why it’s incredibly important to attract youngsters straight from college, and Autotech Group’s subsidiary Autotech Academy is forging links between the industry and educational establishments to do just that.

The idea sounds simple, and it may seem astounding that no one has done it before, but Autotech Academy’s model is straightforward. It works with colleges and employers to find young talent to fill gaps in the industry. “We work with many of the top 200 dealer groups, the majority of the national fast-fit chains and a range of different independent garages, so we’re well placed to work with colleges to find positions for students who are about to enter the job market,” says Gavin White, CEO of Autotech Group.

The aim then, is to help time-poor potential employers focus on the day-to-day running of their business without worrying about the potential complexity of working with an educational establishment. “We have an internal portal in our CRM system which is just like a jobs page. When jobs come through, we post them and the system will notify colleges in that region, and tutors can forward the details to students so they can apply,” says White. “Once they’ve applied, we’ll look at appropriate individuals, conduct online interviews, pass them on to the employer and they can then come back to us for further face-to-face interviews.”

Getting ready for work

Once a student and employer have been matched, whether it’s for a six-month internship or more, Autotech Academy supports them by helping to make the transition from the classroom to the work environment as smooth as possible.

“We want to break down a lot of the barriers,” says White. “So, we have an agreement with Team Tools to supply a starter toolkit that we can give to the student, we’ve teamed up with Bosch to deliver training, and with our Virtual Academies we’re delivering some of that online. And we’re going to make sure that students receive EV and ADAS training so they’re ready for the future. We’ll do anything we can to help them on their journey.”

The motor industry has a huge amount to offer, whether you want to get hands-on with fixing vehicles, prefer the IT and software side, or fancy getting involved in sales, logistics, finance or parts. “This industry has something for everyone,” says White. “Autotech Academy can help every party involved to succeed, no matter what direction they want to go in.”

White is confident that this approach will be a success. It could even go some way towards closing the skills gap and bringing the industry and colleges closer together.

This is an edited extract from IMI’s new MotorPro magazine, received free as part of IMI membership. Time to find out more about becoming a member of the most influential community in UK automotive…?

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