The first core pillar of the Automotive 30% Club strategy is ‘Reach Out’.  The Search for a Star Apprentice Recruitment programme helps the 30% Club member company to implement this phase and has been designed and is managed by professionals with over 40 years of automotive manufacturer and retailer experience between them.  

The programme enables retailers to effectively reach out to young people to speak to them about the wide variety of job opportunities within the automotive industry and to encourage them to apply for apprenticeships and full time positions.  Whilst this programme includes both female and male school students, the content of the programme is carefully designed to enable greater engagement with female students who traditionally do not consider a career in the industry, and to reassure them and their families that the motor trade is a smart career choice.

Our Search for a Star Apprenticeship Recruitment Programme takes a socially responsible approach to finding, developing and hiring young apprentices.  The programme positions the client as the inclusive employer of choice in the community by providing careers talks, employer open days, employability skills training and work experience placements for large numbers of local school students.  This creates a diverse pool of male and female talent from which the client can select their apprentices.

We can design tailored packages to meet your business needs

All businesses have different apprenticeship recruitment needs. The experienced automotive team at Gaia Innovation will work with the management team to understand their needs to ensure the programme supports the future requirements of the business, ensure staff are fully engaged in the programme, and that the programme fits within budget.

The five stages of the 12 month programme
  1. School Outreach – Starting in September, we make appointments with schools on behalf of our clients to reach out and speak to students about the exciting job opportunities within the automotive industry. The relationship with schools is developed through a comprehensive communications plan to ensure they fully understand the benefits of our visits.  We sensitively position the client as a local employer aiming to close the gender gap and introduce the ‘Search for a Star’ programme. We coach young members of the client team to accompany us as role models, and this is a great development opportunity for them.
  2. Dealership Open Evenings – An informative event designed and run by Gaia Innovation for your management team, that gives an opportunity for students and parents/carers to find out more about working in a dealership, hear about apprenticeship opportunities and meet the team and Directors from the business.
  3. Employability Skills Training Days– These training days focus on interview skills and techniques, in order to prepare candidates for an interview with a member of the client’s management team which follows later on in the day. This ensures that the client is able to truly explore each youngster’s potential.
  4. Work Experience Placements– This serves as an extended work assessment, enabling the client to determine their suitability for the role. It is also a chance for students in the local area to experience a week in the life of an apprentice, and to gain a reference from the company. 
  5. Job Offers– successful applicants will be offered an apprenticeship by the client, and rejected applicants will be sensitively directed to other sources of apprenticeship opportunities by Gaia Innovation.
Who benefits from this programme?
  • The client benefits from being able to hire from a diverse talent pool of high calibre local apprentices, and we strive to help the employer ensure that at least 30% of the new recruits are female. This programme will help the client to build a reputation in the community as a socially responsible inclusive employer of choice.  It will help underpin the work the company is doing to reach its target of at least 30% of leadership positions being filled by women by 2030. 
  • The dealership staff involved in the process.  We have found they fully embrace the programme, rooting for the youngsters and encouraging them to succeed. A bond between company staff and apprentice is developed very early on and makes the first few induction weeks run very smoothly for the new starters.
  • The students who participate in a comprehensive recruitment programme and gain a greater understanding of life within the automotive industry, whether or not they proceed through each stage;

“I found speaking to the members of staff {at the dealership open evening} very useful because it gave me the opportunity to find out what they enjoy the most about their jobs as their daily routine”

  • The schools benefit as it helps them achieve their National Careers Strategy obligations, with career guidance being part of any Ofsted inspection;

I was really impressed with the presentation. It is clear that the company sees the apprenticeship route as an opportunity to invest in the next generation of automotive experts in every field. I’m glad our students responded by recording their interest with you and I hope they act on it. As I said at the time, even to participate and be unsuccessful in the long run would still be an excellent experience for them” 

  • The parents, as the open evening allows engagement with the people who will help shape their children’s future. They also gain a greater understanding of the excellent training their children will receive – this is usually the complete opposite to their entrenched beliefs.

“It was a delight to attend such an informative open evening, especially for parents of children who are not fully aware of what it is they want to do. The confident presentation and involvement of previous apprentices was a valuable aspect. My child was delighted with the tour and this evening has given him huge encouragement to further his enthusiasm to building a future in mechanics/engineering apprenticeships. Thank you!” 

A case study – Burrows Motor Company

We were approached by Dean Cooper, Operations Director at Burrows Motor Company to help them to increase the number of quality apprentice candidates, and particularly to raise awareness and interest amongst female students.   We are now entering into the fourth year of working with Burrows on the Search for A Star programme and the results have been impressive.  

Over the last three years we have:

  • Visited 35 schools to speak to their year 11 students.
  • Spoken to nearly 4000 students during the school visits.
  • Recruited 31 apprentices, 61% in technical roles and 49% in customer facing / administration positions.
  • In total 35% of all apprenticeship appointments have been female students.

“Gaia Innovation has been instrumental in bringing about a unique approach to schools in our community by promoting us as a must-see opportunity for pending school leavers. They have opened up many doors and are conversant in the variety of ways schools address career opportunities for their children. The mix of skill sets within their own business helps to bring together a structure for initial approach, event evenings, recruitment selection and training path unlike any other on offer” Dean Cooper – Operations Director, Burrows Motor Group

If you wish to speak to the team in more detail about this programme, please contact Nicola: / 0114 236 0602 or connect with us through our website