Developing the next generation of automotive talent

21 February 2014 #SMMT News

From 3 March SMMT will be supporting its members’ nationwide activities around national apprenticeship week. This annual focus on ways business of all sorts develop the next generation of workers offers automotive businesses the opportunity to put a spotlight on the year-round work that goes on to attract, train and develop new automotive sector employees.

SMMT also supports the Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award, which hunts out the best graduate brains to produce inventive ideas for the automotive sector. The 2014 competition launched this week and will result in the winner being rewarded with a £7,500 paid work experience package, comprising one month at each of the contest sponsors: Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren Automotive, Peugeot, Skoda and Toyota.

Head judge and Autocar Editor-in-Chief, Steve Cropley, said, “The UK automotive sector is seeing incredible growth and success and now is a great time to join the industry. The future is just as important as the present; fresh talent with new ideas is crucial to the continuous evolvement and achievement of the industry and, as such, it welcomes new and original concepts.”

The winner of the 2012 competition, Roberto Pace, now works at McLaren Automotive and 2013 winner Jake Larsson starts his work experience this month at Skoda. The contest launched in 2009 to offer students a unique chance to launch their automotive industry career. To enter the competition, students need to answer, in 500 words, a brief set by Steve Cropley and submit their entry at by 1 September 2014.


Brief: Describe, in no more than 500 words, an idea, innovation or change to corporate policy that would improve the UK automotive business.

The idea could work in any area of the automotive business – from concept through to the sales showroom and aftermarket.

If selected for the next stage of the competition, students will need to demonstrate how the idea could be made viable within a business environment and the advantages it would offer.

Submissions are welcomed from all disciplines, including – but not limited to – engineering, marketing and communications, design and media. Special credit will be given to the originality of entrants’ suggestions.

The six best entrants will attend a mentoring session with one of the assigned judges from the 2014 sponsor companies to refine their idea and presentation skills.

The three finalists will be invited to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ Annual Dinner in London on 25 November, where the winner will be announced.

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