As drivers make the switch from petrol and diesel to hybrid and EV, one motoring group is helping produce the next generation of technicians who will keep modern cars on the road and on the move.
The John Clark Motor Group has launched its latest apprenticeship recruitment drive and is hoping to see roles filled across the group including vehicle technicians, parts advisors, paint and body shop workers, and IT and digital, amongst other roles.
Typically, John Clark’s recruits 40-60 apprentices each year, all of whom go into full time employment.
The major driver on apprenticeships is the changing skills and changing technology.
The intensive three-year training programme is run in conjunction with Bosch Training Eurocentral, a centre of excellence for the “connected workshop”. It also has a dedicated John Clark workshop, designed to ensure that the motor group is producing technicians that have the skills to meet the requirements of EV maintenance and self-driving cars.
Apprentices benefit from a week with the Outward Bound Trust at Loch Eil where they learn teamwork and communications skills. And with such a comprehensive training package, John Clark expects around 800 applications for the 40 light vehicle technician roles alone.
Head of learning and development Colin McAllister said: “The major driver on apprenticeships is the changing skills and changing technology.
“We have EVs and automated driver assistance systems now, and so we are recruiting apprentices who have good physics and computing backgrounds. We’re looking for people who have good analytical minds.”
Ultimately, though, the apprenticeships are about “matching that person’s skills and talents to a role that gives them fulfilment and career progression,” adds Colin.
Despite the move to EV and driverless cars, Colin says that the many young applicants still have an interest in internal combustion engine vehicles, and even motor racing.
“They’re got such a passion for it,” says Colin. “They’ll get the maths result, they’ll get themselves qualified, they know that’s what they really want to do.”
Three-times nominated as Skills Development Scotland apprenticeship diversity champions, John Clark is committed to inclusion, Colin adds, as well meeting the demand for modern motoring – and the future certainly looks bright for the next generation of vehicle techs.
“Technicians are the most sought after role in the car industry UK-wide,” says Colin. “We’re dedicated to taking on apprentices and making sure we grow that skills pool.”