Autocar Drivers of Change initiative launched to attract new talent to the UK automotive industry

Autocar and Ennis & Co have launched a new initiative to attract fresh talent to the automotive sector in a bid to highlight the exciting employment opportunities available in the industry as it undergoes a period of unprecedented change, driven by the drive towards electrification, autonomy and digitalisation.

The Drivers of Change competition, sponsored by the APC, is seeking to identify and promote the best talents from across three areas: technology, digital and retail. Applicants must either be applying from outside the automotive industry, or be working in a different automotive discipline to the one which they are applying to enter the competition.

Steve Cropley, Autocar’s editor-in-chief, said:

With the automotive industry changing so rapidly and in so many exciting ways, there has never been a better time for fresh talent with new ideas and different ways of working to break through and make a difference. Applicants might be coming out of university or they might be a couple of roles into their careers; there’s no upper age limit, just a desire to hear from anyone who has an ability to look at problems from fresh angles and create opportunities from them.

The winner in each of the three Drivers of Change categories will take home £5000 in prize money as well as the chance to network with representatives from key sponsors, revealed at this year’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT) Annual Dinner this evening. Drivers of Change is sponsored by the Advanced Propulsion Centre, Allianz, Bentley, CitNOW, HORIBA MIRA, Jardine Motors Group, Lotus, McLaren Automotive, Polestar, Toyota, TrustFord, Volvo and VW Group.

Lynda Ennis, founder of Ennis & Co, said:

Helping automotive leaders acquire fresh new talent is in the lifeblood of what we do, and to focus on such fast-paced, fast-changing sectors in the industry is a great way to uncover hidden gems in their fields. The line-up of sponsors is incredible, which underlines just how eager the industry is to attract bright new talent. We are all already looking forward to hearing some of the fresh, exciting ideas that applicants can put in front of the Drivers of Change judging panel.

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said:

The global car industry is experiencing a period of rapid change and it’s important that the UK remains at the forefront of these developments. Research & Development, design, retail and manufacturing are all looking at how new technologies will change established business models. By recognising and assisting potential talent across key industry sectors, Autocar and Ennis & Co’s Drivers of Change Award should help the UK remain a leader in the global automotive industry. I would like to wish all of the applicants the best of luck.

The lower age limit for entries is 18. To enter, participants will need to submit a short written piece on why they should win, as well as a creative video. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an exclusive assessment day, where a specialist panel comprising of leading industry figures from technological, digital and retail fields will judge the candidates. Three finalists from each category will be invited to attend the annual SMMT Dinner in November 2020, where the winners will be announced.