To celebrate the first National Intern Week (26-30 September) Autotech Academy is reporting the success of its internship initiative, which is paving the way for a new generation of skilled technicians to enter the industry.
Autotech Academy, launched in January 2021, was created to help newly qualified Level 3 students secure their first automotive role through a paid internship. Now, with a full academic year under its belt, the Autotech Academy concept has helped over 150 young people gain employment within the industry. It has also generated a new recruitment stream for the sector which has been plagued by a skills shortage for years.
Working as a conduit between FE Colleges and motor industry employers, Autotech Academy identifies qualifying Level 3 automotive students, equips them with a starter tool kit and uniform, before placing them with an employer for a period of 6 -12 months on a paid internship. At the end of the agreed term, the employer can decide to employ the intern on a permanent basis with no recruitment fees. Over two thirds of interns, placed into the industry by Autotech Academy, are successfully transitioning to permanent employment on completion.
One major misconception around Autotech Academy has been the myth that an internship is the same as an apprenticeship. “Put simply, an apprentice is a school leaver with no automotive education while an intern is fully qualified with the latest theoretical training and will work full-time. They do not require day release to attend college as an apprentice would,” comments Simon, Managing Director of Autotech Group.
Employers have shaped the internship to suit their specific needs. From interns ‘shadowing’ master technicians before working independently, to putting them on smaller, repetitive tasks so they can refine their skills. “While the interns have the right qualifications, they’ll initially need to be directed and potentially shadow people to gain the confidence to put their knowledge into practice. However, by all accounts, the interns placed by Autotech Academy are working independently very quickly and offer an immediate extra pair of hands.”
Now, as a new academic year gets firmly underway, Autotech Academy, building upon the relationships forged with over 60 FE Colleges across the UK, is set to increase the number of internship positions created and inject a new cohort of newly qualified talent into the sector.