Jane Pocock, Managing Director of Copart UK and Ireland, talks about Copart’s continual support of registered charity, Open Road West Norfolk, by loaning vehicles for trainees to learn modern mechanical engineering techniques.
Copart is continuing to support registered charity Open Road West Norfolk, by loaning vehicles on which trainees can learn modern mechanical engineering techniques.
Open Road West Norfolk provides training to young people with an interest in motor vehicles, helping them to gain recognised qualifications and improved employment opportunities.
Copart’s commitment to Open Road
Copart has been a proud supporter of Open Road West Norfolk since 2013 and has committed to loaning four vehicles per year for students to work on and gain practical hands-on mechanical skills.
The students use Copart’s vehicles to learn more about a range of mechanical aspects including alternators, starter motors, exhausts, suspension, and steering – as well as general bodywork.
Open Road students working on a Copart vehicle
Open Road West Norfolk Centre Manager, Robin Hansell, said:
“Without the support of organisations such as Copart, we would be unable to provide this type of practical workshop-based training. Copart provides us with small, damaged repairable cars, which are no more than five years old so that our students can train on the types of modern cars they are likely to work on in a real-life workplace.”
Creating career paths
The training enables students, who are mainly aged between 13-18, to achieve an IMI Level 1 Award, Certificate, and then Diploma, in Transport Maintenance, with the whole process taking around two years.
At award level, there are no formal entry requirements, and course content is equivalent to the study of GCSE grades D-G. This provides a perfect opportunity for young people who are not academically focused to have access to a career path in an area they are interested in.
“Many of the young people who come to us to train may have been excluded from mainstream schools for various reasons.” Robin said. “More often than not, they are simply better suited to learning practical skills and thrive in a more hands-on training environment than in a classroom. So, although we dedicate about an hour a day to theory, the rest of the day is spent in the workshop.”
“Despite sometimes complex educational backgrounds, they all love working on cars and as soon as they see the workshop facility they are absolutely hooked.” Robin added. “We really appreciate the vehicles Copart lend us, as working on them captures the interest and attention of our students, and many of them have gone on to become phenomenal mechanics.”
Investing in the future
With a reported skills gap in the vehicle repair side of the automotive industry, it is more important now than ever to invest in young people with an interest in this area and ensure that we have a long-term sustainable workforce for the future.
At Copart, we are proud to play a part in this by continuing to support the fantastic work Open Road West Norfolk are doing to attract and engage young people into pursuing a career path within the automotive industry.
Michael Stewart, Automotive Sales Director – Copart UK said:
“We are delighted to support Open Road West Norfolk by providing free vehicles loans, to assist them in carrying out the practical training required for young people to pursue careers in vehicle repair and maintenance.
Just because someone doesn’t have GCSEs does not mean they cannot be a competent mechanic, so we hope to play a part in changing attitudes around barriers to employment. We want to promote and encourage alternative training and development routes, and help give these young people better career opportunities, as they are the future of our industry.”
Copart UK thanks Robin Hansell from Open Road West Norfolk for collaborating with them on this article.