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RAC searches for tomorrow’s engineers

RAC has launched a £100,000 national initiative to find and train the motor engineers of the future.

The group has linked up with schools to provide vocational training to give pupils a head start in the automotive industry. This includes installing the latest vehicle technology on school premises.

This scheme is in addition to RAC’s apprentice and technical training provision for vehicle manufacturers.

The project has begun with RAC and Ashfield School in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, joining forces to help students obtain an Institute of Motor Industry-recognised NVQ qualification and an engineering diploma.

A new vehicle workshop is being built at the school, which will be equipped with the vehicles and equipment. An RAC automotive engineering trainer will provide practical lessons as part of the school’s curriculum.

RAC will also invite local businesses to provide work placements for successful students, as well as giving students the chance to join RAC-supported apprentice programmes.

Following on from this initial scheme, the company will seek other suitable schools across the country, culminating in several training centres.

Damian O’Connor, RAC’s head of technical service delivery, said: "We want to show students that there is more to the motor industry than just an ‘oily rag’, which is the image we are trying to move away from.

"Yes, it is possible to become a vehicle technician through this initiative, but it will also provide a gateway into other automotive engineering roles such as manufacturing and product design of vehicle systems, electronic control and robotics – these are the critical jobs for the future of manufacturing in this country."

Left to right, Rob Green regional manager - Automotive Skills, Ian Fraser headmaster - Ashfield School and, Damian O'Connor head of technical service delivery at RAC examine the building plans at Ashfield School, Nottinghamshire.

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