Vantage aims to put more women in the driving seat

Vantage MD Mark Robinson with King James’s students

Knaresborough-based Vantage Motor Group has struck up a partnership with King James’s School, also in Knaresborough, which will encourage more young women to consider the employment opportunities available in the automotive sector.

As part of the Speakers for Schools project, Mark Robinson, Founder and Managing Director of Vantage, held a talk at King James’s School in front of almost 250 year 12 and 13 students aiming to inspire them to aim high.

In addition to this, Mark also launched a job shadowing opportunity for two of the female students, aged 16-17, during October half-term, the week commencing 23 October.

Vantage owns 25 dealerships through the North and the Midlands, including its head office at Vantage Toyota Knaresborough.

Vantage Head of People and Development, Caroline Boothroyd, will act as a mentor on the week long programme which will see the students gain valuable experience in all areas of the business, across a number of Vantage dealerships.

During the week, the students will also complete an independent project of their choice focused on the automotive industry which will be presented to senior staff who will offer presentation and public speaking guidance.

The project has been launched following the latest figures from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showing the number of men employed in the automotive industry outnumbers women by three to one.

Mark Robinson said: “As an employer in the region, we’re raising awareness of the many opportunities there are for women in the industry and we’re hoping to encourage people to consider careers in the automotive sector.

“We kicked things off by presenting to a packed audience at King James’s School as part of the Speakers for School project and encouraged students to apply for our Executive Job Shadowing programme by sending in a CV, letter or video application.

“We’ve had some great interest so far with some strong applications already submitted and we’re looking forward to welcoming two students in October who will gain valuable experience across areas of the business including operations, finance and marketing.”

Speakers for Schools is a charity founded by ITV’s Robert Peston in 2011 and aims to help secondary schools inspire students by providing excess to expertise and professional career advice provided by different industry-leaders.

The network currently encompasses over 1,000 leading figures and works with almost 2,000 schools and has to date provided 3,800 free talks to 450,000 young people across the UK.

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