Taking a break from filming for Warrantywise, the provider of the best used vehicle warranties in the UK- Quentin Willson, motoring journalist and TV presenter, enjoyed a Question and Answer session with students of the Motor Vehicle Engineering Department at Accrington and Rossendale College.

Quentin talked about the importance of the motor vehicle industry to the UK economy which supports 800,000 jobs in a supply chain worth £13 billion.

He explained his role in petitioning the government on the importance of the road economy and his work with FairFuelUK, which is the most successful single-issue public protest group in the UK. FairFuelUK is a not-for-profit group which fights for lower fuel duty and fairer, more transparent, pricing at the pumps. Quentin took the opportunity to encourage students, telling them “What you do is vastly important to the UK economy… motor technology is a great career, offering a great future because there is a shortage of master technicians.”

Referencing last week’s budget statement by Phillip Hammond, Quentin told students: “You are the future of all this, you are going to be the people who program, repair and diagnose these cars so without you the whole plan, the whole vision stops short.” The budget statement committed to a £400 million investment into an electric vehicle charging infrastructure and a further £140 million to other electric vehicle related projects.

Responding to a question from Konstantin, “If you could, how would you help our colleges and tutors to better teach the new generation of mechanics?” Quentin replied “I would have more apprenticeships and I’d get the government to support you more, giving all the support and training possible…The world is changing fast, technology is becoming multi layered so we need you, we need your enthusiasm, we need your passion and we need your expertise. Like nurses you are very important to society and I want to give you as much help as I can.”

Quentin replied to a question about the rise of electric cars from Patrick, saying: “They are coming, they’re definitely coming” whilst acknowledging “the technology is not quite ready for mass adoption” he encouraged students “They’re worth learning about – every car manufacturer in the world is spending billions…It’s very important that we lead the world in electric car technology, because if we don’t the Chinese or the Americans will.”

After speaking about his favourite car, the McLaren F1, Quentin continued to motivate the students, telling them: “There’s no secret about success, it’s all about hard work – so set yourselves a really good goal and just work, just be better, be more excellent, be more thorough, be more charming …it’s old fashioned but this is the way you get on in your career!”

Students and staff were particularly pleased to hear him say “I’d love to come back, we should do this as a regular thing, we should talk to Jaguar, Land Rover, Mini and BMW and make sure you’re properly connected.”

Lawrence Whittaker, CEO of Warrantywise & The Lister Motor Company thanked Quentin for spending time with the students, noting that Warrantywise and The Lister Motor Company needs qualified motor vehicle technicians.

“We are so pleased to support Accrington and Rossendale College and to showcase their tremendous training facilities for students.”

The visit left students excited about their future career, emphasising their importance to the motoring industry within the UK and armed them with information to succeed. Accrington and Rossendale College offer apprenticeships in Motor Engineering in their purpose built ‘real-life working environment’ workshops.