The programme involves pupils attending one three-hour course a week over two years, and offers 10 days’ work experience. Two dealer groups have already signed up to the project, and its organisers are looking to attract more businesses to join the scheme.
ReMIT regional operations manager Andrew Gilmour says the project started in Bradford due to acute skills’ shortages in the area and that so far 165 pupils from 11 schools have signed up.
“The course is over-subscribed, and it is likely to spread across the country. But we’re currently looking to attract more ethnic minorities and females – Bradford has a 26% ethnic minority make-up,” he says.
School pupils begin with the basics of vehicle maintenance, such as changing oil and tyres, but they also receive theoretical lessons. The 10 days’ work experience includes days in a service reception, parts department and workshop.
“This isn’t a case of giving them a broom and telling them to sweep up – they will get to know how a garage works, and by the time they are 16 they will know if they want to pursue a career in the motor trade,” Gilmour says.
ReMIT managing director Stephen Ramsay is bullish about the project. “The new centre will not only help young people from all backgrounds to fast-track their progression, it will help tackle the city’s skills shortage.”
Other Bradford-based businesses wanting to take part can contact Andrew Gilmour on 01904 427444.