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Arnold Clark and the Prince’s Trust celebrate 10 years of Get into Cars

The programme helps young people take their first steps in the automotive industry.

The Get into Cars class of 2018.

The Get into Cars class of 2018.

The Prince’s Trust and Arnold Clark are celebrating 10 years of Get into Cars. The programme provides young people in Scotland with the opportunity to take their first steps towards a career in the automotive industry.

Over the course of six weeks, twelve candidates attended training blocks at GTG Glasgow, Arnold Clark’s leading-edge training facility, where expert instructors taught them the basics of automotive maintenance and they had the opportunity to get some hands-on experience. They’ve learned a wide range of skills including tyre fitting, valeting, welding and basic engine maintenance.

The students then took all they learned to an Arnold Clark garage where they gained invaluable workplace experience and had the opportunity to see the diverse range of careers available within the company.

Kate Still, Director of Prince’s Trust Scotland, said: ‘Over the years, Arnold Clark has invested an astounding £1 million in our work with young people. With support from Glasgow City Council and ESF funding, our Get into Cars programme has helped to train over 100 young people, supporting them to develop the confidence and skills they need to live, learn and earn. Today’s graduates are a shining example of the talent and skills that exist within Scotland’s young people.’

Last week, the graduates and their families were invited to attend a graduation ceremony at GTG hosted by campaigner and youth leader John Loughton. This year’s event celebrated 10 years of Get into Cars, with past graduates invited to share their experiences along with inspirational talks from Kate Still, former racing driver and Prince’s Trust Ambassador Mark Blundell, and Bailie Russell Robertson of Glasgow City Council.

Speaking at the event, Baillie Russell Robertson of Glasgow City Council, said: ‘I have been absolutely blown away today. Over the last twelve years Glasgow City Council has invested one million pounds in Prince’s Trust Get into programmes to help young people get into work. Every pound Glasgow City Council invests in young people is an investment not only in young people’s futures, but also in the future success of our city.’

Mark Blundell delivered the closing address, saying: ‘I have been so inspired by each and every one of the young people today. Given this chance, they can now build brighter futures. Maybe one day they will be changing tyres in the Formula One pit stop in two point seven seconds.’

The end of the programme is not the end of the journey for the Get into Cars graduates, as each of them has been invited to start an apprenticeship with Arnold Clark this September, giving them the chance to take everything they’ve learned and turn it into a qualification and a career.

Arnold Clark Chief Executive and Managing Director Eddie Hawthorne attended the event and presented the graduates with their certificates, announcing that each graduate was becoming an Arnold Clark apprentice. He said: ‘Get into Cars is one of the most important events in our calendar. It gives us the opportunity to give something back to the communities where we work, and also to inspire the next generation and provide insights into the career opportunities available to them. This year’s candidates have been exemplary and I can’t wait to see them all back at Arnold Clark as they start their careers as apprentices later in the year.’

During the ceremony, some of the new apprentices shared their experiences of the past six weeks and the challenges they have faced to get there. Get into Cars 2018 graduate Kirsten Miller said: ‘The course has helped me get myself into a routine and overcome my fear of meeting new people. I’ve also gained confidence in myself. I’ve hopefully made some lifelong friends and I’m another step closer to gaining the career I’ve wanted all my life.’

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Andrew Moir