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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

VW Van dealership kickstarts careers for automotive college leavers with Autotech Academy

Date: Friday 08 October 2021

A Volkswagen Van dealership, who employed three Autotech Academy interns, has highlighted the benefits of the initiative which has enhanced its workforce.

Looking to recruit skilled vehicle technicians, The Volkswagen Van Centre in Birmingham contacted Autotech Group after hearing about the company’s newly launched Academy division.

Within just three days, the Autotech Academy team had liaised with Sandwell College and Walsall College and arranged for recently qualified automotive students to be interviewed by The Volkswagen Van Centre’s head of business, Wayne Ollerenshaw.

He said:

“I was extremely impressed with how well equipped the interns were, and their eagerness to start work.”

Developed to create a steady stream of new talent for the industry and cut the number of automotive college leavers finding employment within other sectors Autotech Academy is being cited as ‘the missing link’ between colleges and the aftermarket.

Offering newly qualified automotive students a route into full-time automotive employment through a paid internship, Autotech Academy’s initiative is vastly different to the apprenticeship route.

Wayne explained:

“We have taken on apprentices in the past and it continues to play a part of our strategy, but as apprentices join us fresh from school, they don’t hold the college-learned theory so, understandably, it takes a lot longer for them to gain the necessary knowledge and skills required to carry out repair or servicing work.
“The interns from Autotech Academy all have the most up-to-date knowledge and are keen to put this into practice. While we have, of course, assigned a mentor for each of them to shadow, I am confident that in just 6-8 weeks they will be working independently which will support demand for our services.”

The internship period is set to end within six months, at which point Wayne has said that at least two of the interns will be offered a full-time position within The Volkswagen Van Centre.

“It is vital that the automotive skills learned within colleges are retained by the industry,” comments Dave Walker, national careers manager for Autotech Academy.
“I am delighted with the progress the three interns are making so far and am in regular contact with them and the VW Van team.
“It would be fantastic if full-time positions are offered at the end of the internship period, but what each intern will hold is the experience they need to walk into another automotive position.”