Fix Auto Loughborough welcomed 23 local students and their parents, 13 suppliers and two training providers to their Loughborough bodyshop for a successful Industry Showcase Event on Thursday, October 12th.
Supported by two local schools - De Lisle College and Woodbrook Vale – the team at Fix Auto Loughborough opened the doors to potential apprentices in the latest in a series of AutoRaise Industry Showcase Events, tailored to attract, educate and capture future technician talent.
Expertly supported by 13 proactive suppliers, the Fix Auto Loughborough team provided a 'hands-on' experience for guests with live demonstrations, technical information and competition prizes to encourage engagement. A MET demonstration by Fix Auto Loughborough mechanic, Richard Myers, proved popular. Richard allowed the students to sit in the vehicle and use the diagnostic equipment themselves. As expected, a White Ferrari 458 supercar supplied by Enterprise Rent-A-Car was hugely popular with students and parents taking the photo opportunity!
An estimating demonstration by Senior Estimator Dave Bush received a lot of attention and everyone took the 'Guesstimate' competition seriously as the prize that was a weekend break in a cottage in the Scottish Highlands. The winner has been announced on the Fix Auto Loughborough Facebook page with other raffle winners to be announced on Facebook via video shortly.
Each student received goodie bags which they managed to fill during the evening with phone cases, hand warmers, pens, key rings, thermal travel mugs, stationary and energy drinks – courtesy of supplier representatives – and, of course, plenty of information.
"What a great event – from both a parental and a professional point of view," said Helen Miller, Careers and Guidance Coordinator at De Lisle College. "It was a pleasure to meet and talk to everyone involved and it was so positive to hear adults discuss their career, too. One student in particular was very motivated by the event and has taken away some valuable information to consider about a career in the vehicle repair trade."
Paul Smith, Fix Auto Loughborough, said: "We were extremely impressed with the enthusiasm and calibre of candidates who came along to ensure our first AutoRaise apprentice event was a great success. The candidates who attended from local schools and colleges were all inquisitive and really threw themselves into the event by taking part in the demonstrations provided by our suppliers and staff who I must thank for giving up their time to support us.
"Who knows what the future will bring, but I am hopeful we will be able to recruit a candidate or two into our team and provide them with a great future with us and within our exciting industry."
Tom Hadfield, Fix Auto UK's Head of Marketing, said: "Paul and his team did a brilliant job in becoming the first Fix Auto bodyshop to host an AutoRaise industry showcase. As an AutoRaise Platinum Partner, it was fantastic seeing how enthusiastic and engaged all the young people and their parents were when given the opportunity to try out the technical aspects of our industry. I believe that this successful event will inspire many other Fix Auto bodyshops to host their own industry showcase event with the support of Bob and the team at AutoRaise and I look forward to following the progress of some of those young people who showed a real interest in joining Paul's team on the evening."
AutoRaise - the vehicle repair industry charity – supported Fix Auto Loughborough and this event is part of a series of regional Industry Showcase Events to attract young people into what is a fast-moving, highly skilled, exciting and rewarding industry. Fix Auto UK are an AutoRaise Platinum Partner and have championed the AutoRaise cause from day one.
"AutoRaise were delighted to instigate this event and support the Fix Auto Loughborough team in their engagement with the local schools," said Bob Linwood, Chief Executive Officer, AutoRaise. "We continue to speak with repairers up and down the country who are keen to hold these Showcase events and use our knowledge and best practice to help put on a meaningful event. Paul and his team created a great environment and the young attendees and their parents really appreciated the opportunity to run the rule over our industry as a viable career destination for the future."
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.