Automotive industry partners with Foyer Federation to inspire young talent

30 May 2014 #SMMT News

“When this opportunity came along, it gave me a sense of importance, like I had somewhere to be – something to wake up for in the morning, every morning.”Martin Denyer, 2013 programme participant


Foyer Federation 2013

Young people who have experienced homelessness are set for an insight into the world of automotive manufacturing, as SMMT teams up with the Foyer Federation to launch an exciting work experience scheme.

The pioneering ‘Working Assets’ programme will see five UK-based automotive manufacturing companies – Covpress, Ford, MINI Plant Swindon, Toyota and Unipart – link up with local Foyers to engage young people in a variety of activities designed to give them a taste of working life. Running throughout 2014, the project will include factory visits, team-building challenges, mentoring and help creating a CV.

With manufacturing output on the rise and tens of thousands of skilled jobs to be filled across the sector by 2020, attracting young people to an automotive engineering career remains one of the biggest challenges faced by the industry.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The diverse UK automotive industry currently employs more than 700,000 people, a number that is set to grow following recent multi-billion pound investments across the sector. A huge range of job opportunities is on offer so we want to get new talent into the industry. The SMMT is therefore pleased to work again with the Foyer Federation, providing this step to long-term employment for some of those who have faced particular challenges in their lives.”

Jane Slowey, Chief Executive of the Foyer Federation, said, “A decent job with prospects is probably the most critical factor in enabling young people to move to sustainable, independent adulthood. That is why it is vital to create a new conversation between employers and those young people who face challenges as they grow up. We really value our groundbreaking partnership with SMMT and its members.”

The launch of this year’s Working Assets programme follows the success of the 2013 initiative, in which 52 young people took part. The scheme is administered by the Foyer Federation and funded through SMMT’s Charitable Trust.

The Foyer Federation will publish blog posts throughout the project on, and #WorkingAssets updates will be tweeted from @SMMT and @FoyerFederation. To hear what a previous participant had to say of the scheme, visit

Location              Automotive company                                     Foyer service
Basildon Ford Motor Company Basildon Foyer
Derby Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK YMCA Derbyshire Foyer
Coventry Covpress Coventry Foyer
Midlands Unipart Group Mayday Trust
Swindon MINI Plant Swindon Swindon Foyer

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