Could these young students be the future of the automotive industry?

Mark robinson talks about the bright future of the automotive industry

With our roots firmly in Yorkshire we are proud to have struck up a partnership with Knaresborough secondary school, King James’s School. With this partnership we hope to encourage more young women to consider employment opportunities in the motor trade, starting with their students.

Our managing Director, Mark Robinson, recently gave a speech at King James’s in front of almost 250 Sixth Form students from the school hoping to inspire these students to aim high as part of the Speakers for Schools project.

Speakers for Schools is a charity, founded by ITV’s Robert Peston, which aims to help secondary schools inspire students to consider their career prospects by providing advice and expertise from industry-leaders. With over 2,000 schools signed up to the scheme the charity has so far provided 3,800 free talks to 450,000 young people across the UK. This is a project that we as a company, and Mark himself, are very proud to be part of.

Mark also announced during his speech the chance for two female students to take part in a job shadowing opportunity here at Vantage Motor Group, to enable them to get a real insight into the motor trade. This opportunity will take place during the October half-term and with 25 dealerships throughout the North and the Midlands there will be plenty for these young women to experience.

Our Head of People and Development, Caroline Boothroyd, will act as a mentor for the students throughout their week-long experience at Vantage. The students will get to see how all the different areas of our business work and will visit a number of dealerships across our different brands. In addition to this the students will have to complete an independent project of their own choosing which will focus on the automotive industry. The students will then present these projects to senior members of the Vantage team who will offer them guidance on presentation and public speaking, skills which we hope will give them a confidence boost for when they enter the working world.

The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that the number of men employed in the automotive industry outweighs that of women by three to one. We heard from Julia Muir, who founded the UK Automotive 30% Club which Vantage is also part of, at our recent conference. She gave an inspiring speech about the Club’s aims to close the gender gap in the industry further bolstering our commitment to shouting about the many varied roles available for women.

Mark recently said:

“As an employer in the region, we’re raising awareness of the many opportunities there are for women in the industry and we’re hoping to encourage people to consider careers in the automotive sector”

Mark has encouraged students to apply for or Executive Job Shadowing Programme by sending in a CV, letter or even a video application. We’ve already had some strong applications submitted and were excited to see who makes in through the application process to join us in late October.