As a Patron of The Prince’s Trust, we are playng an active role in giving young people from all walks of life a chance to succeed, this time by running a ‘Get Into Automotive’ initiative which has resulted in three participants being offered ongoing roles with us.
The Prince’s Trust helps 13 to 30 years olds who are unemployed or struggling at school to transform their lives and, in 2016, we made a four-year commitment to help by providing work and training opportunities for these young people across our network of 50 dealerships. As part of our support for the youth charity, we devised our own four-week ‘Get Into Automotive’ programme, offering work placements and, potentially, ongoing employment to 12 young people in Bradford and Leeds.
Our HR team, together with the participating dealerships and The Prince’s Trust, developed a programme which would provide an introduction to working in the motor industry via classroom training and also real life experience. Groups of three of the selected young people were allocated to the BMW/MINI Bradford, Mazda Leeds, Vauxhall Bradford and Volkswagen Bradford dealerships to get a first-hand taste of working for us. Supported by an on site ‘buddy’, they spent time working across all areas of the dealership from sales and service to parts.
Ten of the young people succeeded in completing the four week placement and three of these have now been recruited into our service teams. Asim Hussain, 21, of Keighley takes on the role of technician at our Vauxhall Bradford dealership, while two of the other young people have been given fixed term contracts with the intention that they will then join our apprenticeship scheme later in the year. The trainee apprentices are Conor Asquith-Smith, 19 from Bradford who will join Volkswagen Bradford and Patrick Wall, 16, who will be based at Porsche Centre Leeds.
Katie Saunders, HR director for JCT600, said: “When we became patrons of The Prince’s Trust, one of our key aims was to make a positive difference to the lives and opportunities of young people in our communities. We’re proud to say that our ‘Get Into Automotive’ initiative has succeeded in doing just that.
“Almost 30 young people came along to our selection day and we were really impressed by their enthusiasm and potential. Our celebration of the ten candidates who completed the programme was truly moving – they talked about their time with us, giving heartfelt thanks and many saying that it had been a life-changing experience for them. To subsequently have been able to offer three of these young people jobs is the icing on the cake, both for them and for us.”
As part of our ongoing work with the Prince’s Trust, we are planning to host other work placement schemes later in the year as well as fundraising for the charity.
In addition to undertaking the four-year mentoring programme with The Prince’s Trust, we are also committed to providing work and training opportunities for young people through our apprenticeship scheme – we have recruited more than 135 apprentices over the last four years to join our 2,200-strong team. We have also been listed in the Sunday Times’ ‘Best Companies to Work For’ list in recognition of our outstanding levels of employee engagement.
Added: 05 April 2018