We take a look at the Future Leaders of the Industry program, how it came to be and reflect on why it’s still one of the most relevant initiatives in our industry.
Where it all began
Approximately 10 years ago Newton International Marketing presented an industry forum where the discussion gravitated to what was happening in the industry at that time.
It occurred to David Newton-Ross, who was the editor of the National Collision Repairer at that time, that without a focus on the future, the perennial challenge of attracting and retaining new talent would continue to be a challenge. He knew we needed to change the conversation to take a more forward-looking approach.
Following the event, David and Carl Tinsley, Head Teacher at TAFE NSW’s Campbelltown campus, were lamenting that there was little, if any, way to identify and recognise the young talent coming through the industry. This led to a decision to launch a program through the National Collision Repairer, and the concept of Future Leaders of the Industry was born.
Serendipitously, David met with Roy Briggs, who at the time was with IAG, and he offered to sponsor the program from the very first inductee. IAG has been our sponsor ever since.
Where we are now
There are now 53 recipients of the Future Leaders of the Industry award from all facets of the industry. The majority are autobody repair or refinish technicians, many of whom have gone on to compete on the world stage, manage collision repair facilities, secure positions with global multi-nationals and even follow in the footsteps of their mentors and became TAFE teachers.
In support of the long-standing relationship between IAG and the National Collision Repairer, Troy Johns, IAG Industry Relations Manager said: “IAG is proud to work in partnership with the National Collision Repairer on the Future Leaders of the Industry initiative, as the recognition of our future talent is strongly aligned with IAG’s own core values.”
Where we are going
The Future Leaders of the Industry program will continue to evolve with the ongoing support of IAG and I-CAR Australia. Moving forward, we will further develop our relationship with the various training providers, suppliers and collision repairers around the country and work together to identify and recognise the talent of the future.
Of course, the natural progression of the program is to find a way to reach the schools through their career advisors and to showcase the industry for what it is: a rapidly evolving, dynamic and hi-tech industry that provides a plethora of diverse career opportunities for young men and women.
As today’s current leaders of our industry, I encourage you to invest some of your time, energy and knowledge to develop our next generation of leaders.
IAG’s ongoing support and sponsorship of these awards is greatly appreciated, as is the support from I-CAR Australia, which donates two training courses valued at over $500 to each Future Leader of the Industry.