Skills & Youth
To ensure the future of our past engaging the younger generation in the sector as owners, enthusiasts and employees is critical.
A recent discussion with our classic sector counterparts in France revealed that the average age of Historic and Classic owners has recently fallen from 58 to 54. Not a big step you might think but it’s a step in the right direction. Similar to the UK there is a gradual trend towards the purchase of new electric vehicles for day to day use. This is across the full age spectrum. The trend has seen many of these individuals purchasing classic vehicles for their weekend enjoyment and wellbeing many of whom have not been part of the sector previously.
Attracting the younger generations is critical to ensuring the future of the sector.
We state generations because if we want to attract the people below the average ages above we will be attracting the so called generations, X, Y and Z. Each has a different way of viewing the world and so encouraging their participation in our sector requires different messaging to the different groups. Blanketing Facebook with articles may find the generation X folks whilst Instagram and more likely Tik Tok the latest generation. Attention spans when viewing material also varies from just a few seconds to a few minutes so this impacts the messaging. All rather tricky!
Well, here at the HCVA we are engaging with individuals from the full spectrum of generations to help with the messaging from the teenage enthusiast to the early 50’s television presenter. They are all advocates and they are supporting the HCVA. We are in the early stages of developing the various marketing and media platforms for and with these supporters and very much look forward to sharing them with our membership and as appropriate wider to attract more members.
Remember, we are an open to all organisation and are extremely keen to ensure that we have impeccable Equality, Diversity and Inclusion credentials. So members from the elder chap with his 1930’s Bentley or the young lady with her MGF, or vice versa of course and all in between are welcome. We are working with insurers to understand the opportunities for competitive rates for the younger classic driver who are HCVA members. More of this in due course.
Included in this drive to encourage younger people into the sector is skills. We need new blood, particularly in the crafts such as bodywork and interior and exterior trim. The UK has a global reputation for these skills and crafts and to maintain our £18.3m industry we need to bring through the skills. The Heritage Skills Academy with its facilities at Bicester and Brooklands are a real benchmark for this development. Janice and John Pitchforth that run the Academy are truly passionate about what they do and the development of the youth in these critical skills. The HCVA fully support their activities and will continue to promote them so that we can bring industry to their apprentices and their apprentices to industry.
The skills in the sector don’t stop at the crafts. Developing young enthusiasts across the spectrum is key as selling, maintaining, storing, insuring, financing and more around these vehicles is substantially enabled by the enthusiastic worker. Understanding the history of a marque and therefore the providence of a vehicle is key when it comes to insuring, financing and selling it so once again it needs knowledgeable young folks to carry the baton forward.
“We have an enthusiastic young team that are daily learning more about each of the magnificent vehicles we buy and sell on behalf of our customers and a real asset to the sector, the vehicles and customers and our business” James Mitchell – CEO Pendine and HCVA Founding Partner
Whatever sector of our industry your business supports, and whatever your size, you will face serious ongoing challenges and threats which may lead to business closures and job losses. As the only not-for-profit organisation representing the industry, your support is essential to ensure that we are not the victims of adverse legislation or regulation.
The freedom to continue to enjoy your classic is under threat. These vehicles are a key part of our heritage and enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. Your support is essential to ensure we can campaign effectively on your behalf to preserve them for future generations to enjoy.