Autotech Academy and Ford Motor Company Ltd Create Work Experience Solution for Fire Damaged College

Autotech Academy has responded to the IMI’s call to action to support Bridgwater and Taunton College, after a fire destroyed its specialist Motorsport and Motorcycle workshops.

Collaborating with the Foray Motor Group, Autotech Academy has created a solution which will see six automotive students, who have seen their learning negatively impacted as a result of the fire, gain valuable work experience at Ford garages located close to the college.

Autotech Academy was established by Autotech Group to counteract the shortage of fresh talent entering the automotive industry. The initiative is set to provide qualified college leavers with a gateway into the aftermarket through a paid internship.

While discussing the Academy concept with Ford, the two companies decided to join forces to help Bridgwater and Taunton College students. In February, one of the college’s buildings, which housed its automotive faculty and a motorcycle maintenance workshop, was left unusable following a fire.

Acting upon the IMI’s call for support of the college following the fire, Autotech Academy contacted the automotive faculty and worked with them to select six students who would benefit from the work experience.

Ford, reaching out to its dealer group network, secured the support of the Foray Motor Group, who created opportunities for the students within its Taunton and Bridgwater garages.

Over the course of three weeks, from 17th May, the six students will be divided between the two sites and rotated on a weekly basis to work within the workshop, the parts department and service desk, providing them with a fully comprehensive work experience.

Vinnie Maisey, Curriculum Manager – Automotive for Bridgwater & Taunton College, comments: “The recent fire at Bridgwater & Taunton College affected two automotive workshops at our Bridgwater Campus and thus hindering the progress of our dedicated students. As a college, we are very appreciative of the support shown to us by the automotive sector since the incident and look to continue working closely with the Autotech Group and Ford UK.

The opportunity to experience life inside a modern dealership will be invaluable to the students and quite possibly career changing. I believe this will only further aid our learners in gaining vital experience and employment at the end of their respective courses. We are excited to see what prospects may arise for our students at the end of this bespoke opportunity. With opportunities like these for young budding technicians, the future is looking bright for the automotive industry and I, for one, am very excited to be a part of this.”

Sarah Brettle, Director, Ford Customer Service Division, comments: “Attracting and retaining talented technicians in our dealer network is critical and being able to offer in-dealer training to young people who have elected to pursue a Further Education route into the industry is something which we were already looking closely at. Once we became aware of the damage to Bridgwater & Taunton’s workshop facilities, it made complete sense to collaborate with our partners at Autotech Academy and Foray Motor Group to help these students continue their education and gain real-world dealership experience.”

Gavin White, CEO, Autotech Group, concludes: “We established Autotech Academy to bring our college and automotive employer links together, and create a solution which would benefit students. While the focus of Academy will be to establish internships for qualified students, the fact that this work experience opportunity between Ford and Bridgwater & Taunton College has come to fruition so quickly is testament to our fantastic relationships to both the educational and the automotive industries.”

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