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Careers in the motor industry


Thousands of female university students are writing off potential careers in the automotive industry without even applying, according to the results of a new survey released today by Autocar.

The new research reveals that only 3.5% of female university students would definitely consider a career in the automotive industry - although 35% say that they may do so. But 61.5% of female university students say they will not be considering the automotive industry as a future career option at all.

The figures are very different for male students; 61% of them say they are very interested in the motor industry, and 39% say they would definitely not consider a career in the sector.

"It is disappointing to learn that so few female students are considering a career in the motor industry,” said Autocar editor Chas Hallett. "As we launch the 2011 Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award, we really do want to encourage female university students to put pen to paper and enter.  It’s such a great opportunity.

"The industry does have a number of women doing great things right now - for example, Anna-Louise Clough, Colour and Materials Design Manager and Lianne Daly, Head of Marketing, McLaren Automotive, Fiona Pargeter, global PR Director for Land Rover, and one of the Autocar-Courland Next Generation protégés, Holly Robinson. She was runner-up of the Next Generation Award in 2009 and now works for Audi.

"There are numerous career opportunities for ambitious graduates, from design through to showroom, and that includes the obvious engineering-led roles but also specialist marketing, public relations, sustainability, accounting, policy, human resources as well as customer-facing opportunities.”

The research showed vast regional differences, at the top of the table more students from East Midlands are looking to join the motor industry, followed by Scotland, North East, West Midlands, South East, London, Yorkshire and Humberside, South West, East Anglia, Northern Ireland and North West.  No students from Wales that responded to the survey are looking to the motor industry for their future career.

The Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award is a national competition to identify, support and develop top automotive talent of the future. Entrants from UK universities are invited to answer a brief set by Autocar's Editor-in-chief, Steve Cropley.

The Brief - Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award 2011

Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award entries should be no more than 500 words long and written in English. They should also include images or illustrations, if relevant.

"Using your area of expertise, write a 500-word proposal suggesting some improvement (be it an invention, a legislative change, a change to corporate policy or the adoption of a new convention) which you believe would be a worthwhile benefit to the automotive business, on a small or large scale."


2010 winner Hari Meyyappan who studied at Loughborough University commented, "I am really delighted on winning the Autocar Next Generation award 2010 and I consider it to be a very important success for my career.  Just over a month ago, I was reading about last year's winner and I never expected that I would be standing beside him so soon. 


"I am eagerly looking forward to the placements with the 5 sponsor companies.  I feel that these placements will be life changing events that are going to happen in a very short period of time. This dream prize would serve as a unique 'money-can't-buy' opportunity for students to have a very broad exposure in the rapidly growing automotive industry. I wish to sincerely thank Autocar, Courland and the 5 sponsor companies for the prize and also for providing me such a platform to present my idea!”

Autocar conducted the research in March 2011 as an integral element of the launch of the Autocar Courland Next Generation Award 2011

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