AutoRaise - the vehicle repair industry charity – is delighted with the overwhelming success of the third Industry Showcase event, organised by Alton Cars. The Leeds bodyshop offered a warm welcome to more than 400 visitors on the day and received a magnificent 137 applications for apprenticeships. After seeing the success of other bodyshop groups who hosted similar events to attract new talent to the body repair sector, Alton Cars were keen to engage with key stakeholders, suppliers and staff. With more than 400 people through the doors in once day, the directors hailed the Apprentice Open Day a resounding success and praised the "sheer buzz" and "phenomenal enthusiasm" from all on the day.
Neilson Jones, Commercial Director, Alton Cars, said: "We couldn't have hoped for a better day, the exhibitors and suppliers were amazing, along with our own staff team. Between them they created a whole range of 'hand's on' opportunities for the students coming through, in order to give them a good understanding as to what is involved in repairing a modern day vehicle."
"The calibre of the students that we had on the day surpassed any of our expectations; the hard part now is going to be choosing who we set on," said Julian Milner, Managing Director at Alton Cars. "That said, the next stage in the journey will be for us to hold assessment days for the ones we take through to the next stage. These days will involve an interview, on-line test in English and Maths, and some practical exercises out on our workshop floor. By the end of these days, I am sure we will have found our next budding Panel, MET and Paint Technician's! It's going to be an exciting process!"
Tony Parish, Chairman, Alton Cars, said the event "has restored my faith in the talent that is available to us in the young people of today. We had so many young people that were so engaged and interested, many of which stayed longer than their allotted session... the whole day really was fantastic," he said. "Autoraise is a fantastic charity and is really causing a stir in the industry, the skills shortage needs addressing and with the amazing people involved and the partners all supporting it, it can't fail."
"This took the Industry Showcase Events to a different level in terms of numbers involved," said Bob Linwood, Chief Executive Officer, AutoRaise. "The Alton Cars team really got behind a massive communication plan and social media played a key part in raising awareness and the profile of the event. 400 people is staggering and once again proved how attractive our industry can be to young people looking for an enjoyable and sustainable career choice. It was a brilliant effort by all involved."
It's essential that the industry gets behind addressing the skills shortage, whether it be taking on new apprentices, hosting Industry Showcase Events or simply helping to spread the word.