The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has reported a significant year-on-year increase in interest for careers in the automotive industry this year, from both students and their Careers Advisors.
Here at Auto Skills, we specialise in getting people jobs in the automotive industry! So we thought we’d answer some of the questions that school leavers considering a career in the motoring sector might ask…
‘What jobs are available?’
Whether you’re interested in vehicle manufacture and maintenance or you think you’d be more suited to the sales side of things, there are a wide range of roles available in the motor industry. There are also great progression opportunities within the sector and many workplaces offer incentives such as overtime, bonus schemes and flexible working hours.
You can see some of our current vacancies and find out a bit more about what each role involves over on our Jobs Board.
‘Do I need qualifications?’
This depends on the role that you are interested in. Many employers will ask for at least 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent Intermediate qualifications such as Functional Skills Level 2 in English and Maths.
Some roles also require you to have a Level 3 Advanced qualification. This can be achieved by taking a further education college course or apprenticeship, such as a Diploma in Vehicle Technology or an NVQ Diploma in Business and Administration.
Apprenticeships usually take two to three years to complete and you will have to complete regular coursework or assessments, set by your college or training provider. ‘On-the-job’ apprenticeships are a great way to earn money whilst studying and they also give you hands-on experience in a workshop or dealership, which looks great on your CV this early on!
There are of course some jobs - especially in car sales - that state that relevant experience or industry qualifications are not essential. These companies will be looking carefully at your CV and Cover Letter to see if you have any transferable skills or experience instead. Be sure to point out how you meet the role requirements in other ways e.g. personal attributes, previous participation in volunteering/group activities.
A valid UK Driving Licence will put you above other candidates when applying for certain jobs in the motor industry. As you progress in the sector, there are also other specialist licenses you can go for, such as your HGV licence.
‘What are some ‘must have’ qualities for these roles?’
For jobs in car manufacture and maintenance, you should be able to work well in a team but also be comfortable with working independently. You should be someone who pays close attention to detail and who has good problem-solving skills. An interest in cars and other vehicles is of course beneficial!
For service advisor and sales positions, you should have great customer service skills and be confident speaking to people on the phone and in person. It’s also helpful for you to have an interest in cars and other vehicles, as you’ll be better equipped to answer customer’s questions and identify what they’re looking for.
‘Where can I get more information?’
You can find out more about the different types of careers in the motor industry on the IMI Autocity website and in their ‘Insider’s Guide to Automotive Apprenticeships’. You should also speak to your teacher, tutor or careers advisor, as they may have more information about what courses, apprenticeships and jobs are available in your area.