Younger people of school or college leaving age who are looking for some career guidance would do well to consider the roles on offer in a car dealership; a sector which has worked hard over the past decade to embrace and nurture those who bring digital skills; who are social media-savvy and able to adapt to the fast pace of technical change at every level and in every job.
It can pay well - the average salary in a car dealership is around £35,450 – and many dealership groups have excellent apprenticeship programmes in place which give their staff skills for life and a solid grounding for an exciting, challenging and rewarding career.
Dealerships offer modern, pleasant work environments in both the `front-of-house’ showroom and in the workshops, which are now a world away from the traditional and inaccurate images of an oily garage. They are tech-oriented and those who are comfortable with that will be welcomed with open arms by the industry.
One man who should know is Ian Partington, company founder and CEO of auto sector jobs finder and placement agency, InAutomotive. His company specialises in finding the right people for the 5,000+ vacancies dealerships post each month and he recognises the need for younger people and the skills they can bring.
Ian said: “There is a real need to change the perception of the automotive industry, particularly amongst young people. Typically perceived as an old fashioned and dirty trade, the automotive industry has become hi-tech. More career pathways are being introduced as a route to harness fresh new talent, ensuring that the industry has the practical skills and qualifications required not only for the present, but into the future.
“Millennials have different ways of communicating and are better connected to the digital world, as well as generally being more tech-savvy and accustomed to online culture. As the industry grows increasingly more technical, it is the Millennials who will drive this forward, using skill sets the older generation will need to embrace. A career in automotive can no longer be taught by working alongside a mentor. As the digital world begins to sweep the workplace, the automotive industry now demands digital skills.”
A year ago an industry-wide initiative called Drive My Career was launched by the National Franchised Dealers’ Association with the intention of promoting what it can offer younger people and to attract the talent it needs. 12 months on and almost 1,000 dealerships are now on-board and doing what they can to spread the message that the retail trade can provide a good career.
Using various and highly targeted digital campaigns designed for 16 to 24 year olds, DMC promotes the opportunities and training, the chances for career development and the rewards new entrants can expect.
Harnessing all the big social media platforms and especially Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter, users have built an active community with hundreds of thousands of visits and it’s reliably estimated that around 700,000 people a month hear about working in the industry.
Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which launched Drive My Career, said: “It is extremely encouraging to see the progress that Drive My Career has made over the last twelve months thanks to the support of the nearly 1,000 dealerships now involved in the initiative.
“Drive My Career is a unique employment initiative which was launched to address franchised retailers’ concerns that young people do not consider the automotive retail sector as an option for their professional careers. The ultimate goal is to connect young people with the dealer groups based in their local area. On the website, users can do so by entering their postcode and see what retailers work in their area through the dealer-finder map which shows all the dealerships of the dealer groups across the UK that have joined the initiative.
“Today’s retail automotive sector is transparent, innovative and exciting. It is vital that we communicate to the new generations outside the industry how rewarding a career in our sector can be.”
Drive My Career has reached several milestones in its first year: