UK engineering key to aftermarket success: National Auto Parts MD, David Houlden
National Auto Parts has responded to the government’s call to make 2018 the “Year of Engineering” by claiming that high quality skilled engineers are essential to securing a prosperous future for the UK automotive aftermarket.
The Government’s #ThisIsEngineering campaign to tackle the critical shortfall of engineering talent launched in January. Findings from an EngineeringUK report show that there is an annual demand for at least 124,000 engineers and technicians with core engineering skills, and an additional 79,000 roles that require engineering knowledge and skills alongside other skill sets.
Clutch and brake specialist National Auto Parts is leading the charge in the aftermarket with the recruitment of five apprentices currently working at various levels within the business.
Harry Morton gained his Intermediate Level 1 Apprenticeship in Warehouse Operations upon completion in December 2017, after one year’s training. He is now employed in the Quality and Technical Department and currently working towards an NVQ Level 2 in Performing Manufacturing Operations.
Connor Harrow now works within Sales and Marketing after finishing the same apprenticeship as Harry; in April he is due to enrol in an NVQ Level 2 course in Sales and Marketing. Both gained valuable work experience within Stores and Distribution for a 12-month period, learning all aspects of the department including goods in receipt, stock control, order picking, packing operations and dispatch. They both also benefitted from an initial two-week business induction in Admin and Sales, Marketing and Quality, and Technical followed by one week in the Buying department.
In response to the shortage of women currently working in the industry, it is also encouraging to see more female trainees embarking on National’s Apprenticeship Programme. Erin Hallahan and Georgina Pickering are currently based in the company’s Purchasing department, working towards their Level 2 Business Administration Apprenticeships, while Rebecca Mather is working towards the same qualification in the Admin department.
The apprenticeships have been carried out in partnership with National’s training provider Axia Solutions, based in Stoke-on-Trent.
David Houlden, National Auto Parts managing director, said: “It’s important that the UK automotive aftermarket plays its part in recruiting engineers and technicians throughout the supply chain as this is critical to ensuring the trade keeps pace with technological developments in the vehicle parc.
“Our investment in engineering expertise, coupled with our experience in fault finding and troubleshooting, provides us with a competitive edge from which we can continue our development.”
All design and product specification work for National’s extensive clutch and brake range is carried out at its Somercotes facility in Derbyshire. The UK facility maintains it engineering focus and high availability with the ability to produce and re-engineer bespoke products quickly.
National’s experience is the result of 30 years’ experience in the aftermarket as a manufacturer and distributor, specialising in clutch and brake components for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. Its wide portfolio covers brake discs, brake drums.