Leicester College Blog

Automotive industry experts visit Leicester College to help next generation


Automotive and mechanical engineering students at Leicester College were given an insight into the automotive industry when representatives from the Lucas Oil Academy came to visit.

The Lucas Oil Academy is the training arm of Lucas Oil, a leading international manufacturer of oils, additives and lubricants. These are developed for use in automotive applications such as cars, trucks and buses, as well as marine craft, construction and agricultural equipment. Aftermarket Business Solutions, a UK automotive aftermarket specialist and a partner of Lucas Oil UK, provided our students with an overview about future industry opportunities.

According to the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), the UK automotive manufacturing sector is forecast to require 55,499 new employees over the next decade. Consequently, the focus on training, up-skilling and preparing a new generation of qualified mechanics for employment is greater than ever.

Leicester College is one of the leading training providers in the East Midlands and invited the team from Lucas Oil to meet with Level 1, 2 and 3 students to provide an overview of the commercial side of the industry and a greater understanding of additive technologies, which are increasingly seen as advanced engineering solutions.

Supporting career development

Mike Smallbone from Aftermarket Business Solutions said: “This is a really exciting time for students and younger people to join the automotive industry. There is a massive skills gap right now so the opportunities are tremendous.

“Together with Lucas Oil, we are committed to helping training providers such as Leicester College to put their students one step ahead and help to catapult them into careers in the aftermarket sector.”

Students who choose to go down this route could find themselves working for a number of operators like independent garages, or as part of the global supply chain by working for parts suppliers, parts distribution companies and even vehicle manufacturers.

Mike added: “Statistics from IMI show that 39,000 UK mechanics were EV-qualified by the end of 2022. However, there could still be a potential shortfall of 16,000 technicians by 2032 if the uptake of relevant skills isn’t increased, so it’s vital that we help new learners to get into the industry.”

Nathan Owen, Technical Advisor at the Lucas Oil Academy, added: “Our role is to help young student mechanics to develop a clearer understanding about oil and additive technology, along with the changing roles these products have in automotive engineering. The use of these lubrication and additive products helps mechanics of all ages and experiences improve the maintenance and performance of modern and classic vehicles.

“We’re keen to engage with colleges across the UK, such as Leicester College, to talk to students not just about how our products can be used throughout their careers, but also about the opportunities that are available to them within the industry.”

“Taster of the real world” for students

Paul Roberts, Programme Lead at Leicester College, said: “One of the elements of the course we are currently doing is going through what additives are in oil and how to buy and use oils in the trade. In the classroom, we teach what additives are and we’ve just started an engine unit so this ties in nicely with our teaching.

“We are also looking at taking our students on a trip to Morgan Motor Company to give them an insight into manufacturer performance, and they also attended an electric vehicle seminar in London. We hope that this taster of the real world will provide further encouragement to them to pursue careers in the automotive industry.”

Find out more about motor vehicles courses available at Leicester College.

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