Drive My Career is the employment initiative launched by the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) in February 2018 to improve the perception of the automotive industry among young people. The initiative targets 16 to 24-year-old potential candidates to raise their awareness of the exciting career opportunities available in the retail side of the automotive industry.
Drive My Career polls their target audience every two months to explore their perception of working in the automotive industry and their understanding of an ideal career. The latest survey had 387 responses and revealed positive attitudes towards apprenticeships.
When asked whether they preferred to go to university or start an apprenticeship, nearly half (47%) opted for the latter. Additionally, the vast majority of respondents (95%) responded ‘yes’ to the question ‘after an apprenticeship, would you continue to work for the same company if they offered you the job?’.
Almost 40% of respondents said the ‘earn while you learn’ element is the most important part of an apprenticeship. This was closely followed by ‘understanding the work environment’ (27%) and ‘gaining early work experience’ (26%).
Since January 2019, more than 13,000 young people have been redirected by Drive My Career to the career pages of its members. Social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube are the key channels of communication used to connect with the target audience. Drive My Career’s YouTube channel now has over 220,000 views.
Drive My Career’s findings mirrored the trend at one of its biggest members, franchised dealer group JCT600. JCT600 operates in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and the North East.
Katie Saunders, JCT600 HR Director, commented, “We recruit between 40 and 50 Apprentices each year through our Group Programme. We employ immediately on permanent contracts rather than temporary or “Apprenticeship” contracts because we see our Apprentices as long-term future talent. Ensuring that they have great mentors is also key. We are proud of our 95% retention rate once they have qualified and we have multiple examples of apprentices growing with us to become Managers”.
Sue Robinson, NFDA Director, added, “It is encouraging to see that a large percentage of young people see apprenticeships as an ideal route into their professional career. Our findings demonstrate the importance of investing in the workforce of the future.
“The automotive retail industry offers a wide range of rewarding, entry-level roles to those looking to start their professional career. Thanks to the support of its franchised dealer members, Drive My Career will continue to showcase how exciting a career in our sector can be”.