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AM News Show: Making automotive retail a ‘home from home’ for apprentices

AM News Show podcast: JCT600's Nicola Tordoff-Sohne (right) with Aston Martin Leeds apprentice Sophie Bailey and Mercedes-Benz Sheffield apprentice Ben Collinson

JCT600 apprentices have told the AM News Show how they overcame stigma about the automotive sector to find a new ‘home from home’ in Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz franchised dealership roles.

In one episode from the latest instalment of the popular Youtube video and podcast series AM news and features editor Tom Sharpe was joined by JCT600 head of colleague experience Nicola Tordoff-Sohne, Aston Martin Leeds apprentice technician Sophie Bailey and Mercedes-Benz Sheffield apprentice service advisor Ben Collinson to discuss the reality of a key route into the sector for the next generation of automotive talent.

As Collinson reveals how he now encourages friends to explore opportunities in automotive retail, Bailey has no regrets about overcoming family detractors to pursue her passion for car mechanics.

“From day one of being in that workshop I have felt at home. I absolutely love it,” Bailey told the AM News Show as she relayed her story.

“I open my toolbox every morning and it feels like my home from home.”

National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) communications manager Gabriele Severini also joins the panel in the podcast episode to speak about the role of Drive My Career – and particularly its annual Apprenticeship Takeover on social media – in highlighting automotive retail opportunities to young people.

Tordoff-Sohne said: “It’s not only about the job role with young people now, I think what part of what businesses need to do to be attractive to young people, to find out what is important to young people, which I think has changed.

“I do feel like young people have a better understanding of what’s important to them and what they really value and what’s coming out of that is more meaningful work experience, a better work/life balance. It’s not all about career progression, finance, salary, there’s far more to think about when attracting young people in finding out what their values are and how we can match those values.”

The AM News Show can be viewed on Youtube or accessed via Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

In last month's episodes Sandicliffe data projects manager Kat Lord and Waylands Automotive head of marketing April Wyatt joined AM editor Tim Rose and news and features editor Tom Sharpe in the studio to discuss marketing in turbulent times for the sector.

Seperately, Auto Trader brand director Marc Palmer and Cap HPI head of forecast strategy Dylan Setterfield discussed the used car market and the impact of electric vehicles (EV) on residual values and affordbaility.


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