Auto industry gathers to recognise the achievements of young people

27 November 2012 #SMMT News

Senior representatives from across the motor industry gathered today at an awards reception in London to celebrate the achievements of more than 30 young people. The young people have successfully completed projects as part of a pilot scheme jointly organised by SMMT, through its Charitable Trust, and The Foyer Federation. 

Aimed at encouraging young people to join the 730,000 people that work in the UK’s dynamic automotive industry, the ‘Working Assets’ pilot programme was launched in April 2012 with support from SMMT members Ford, Toyota and Unipart Manufacturing.

Representing a number of regional Foyers from across the country, the young people took part in a range of specialist projects and initiatives organised by Ford, Toyota and Unipart Manufacturing, designed to give them a taste of life in the automotive sector and a broad set of skills to enhance employability and independence.

All of the young people attending today’s ceremony, received a certificate of achievement, endorsed by SEMTA – the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies – recognising the wide range of key skills developed as well as the experiences and knowledge gained.

Taking place at SMMT’s head offices in Westminster, the reception also paid tribute to the hard work and dedication given to the projects by Ford, Toyota and Unipart Manufacturing as well as the seven local Foyers that piloted the scheme.

Commenting on the success of the scheme, SMMT Chief Executive, Paul Everitt said, “The UK is home to some of the world’s biggest and most productive manufacturing facilities, offering fantastic career opportunities across a variety of disciplines. This initiative gave all of the young people, irrespective of background, a chance to experience the exciting employment opportunities available as well as see first-hand the rewards that come with a career in the automotive sector.”

Jane Slowey, Chief Executive of the Foyer Federation added, “This is a groundbreaking initiative which is exciting and inspiring our network and creating a new kind of conversation between Foyers and employers.  “A conversation that opens young people’s minds to the possibilities that could exist for them within the automotive sector and helps employers tap into a rich pool of young talent they might otherwise miss.  By creating opportunities for young people to develop their skills and talents in a work related context, they can begin to recognise their potential and demonstrate their ’employability’ to themselves, the automotive company they are collaborating with and to future employers.”

The Foyer Federation is a not-for-profit organisation that helps to transform the circumstances of young people who have faced barriers in their lives. Its mission is to turn young people’s experiences of disadvantage into solutions that support their transition to adult independence by developing transformational programmes, such as ‘Working Assets’ that fill gaps in community services and give young people necessary life skills.

SMMT members Ford, Toyota and Unipart each joined forces with their local Foyer to undertake bespoke projects including inductions, training schemes and plant visits as well as hands-on activity such as making corporate DVDs, brochures and involvement with local sustainability projects. These projects were designed to introduce young people to the industry, showcase the variety of careers it offers and help them develop the skills needed for future employment.

To find out more about the pilot scheme and see some of the success stories visit

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