Allied Supports the Next Generation with MCR Pathways


You may have heard the saying “children are our future”. As a society we don’t always live up to that sentiment. Allied Vehicles has a long and successful history of offering apprenticeships to young people. Now we’re working with MCR Pathways to try to support and inspire school children to be the best they can be.

Recently we’ve had 16 young people visit our Glasgow site in “Talent Taster” sessions. The first week nine kids were taken on a tour of our service department and given some practical demonstrations. The next week seven were shown our paint and panel shops. These sessions were arranged through our People & Compliance Director, Diarmid McBride’s association with MCR Pathways and coordinated by our L&D manager Karen McLeish alongside Robert Wilson, Service General Manager and Craig Paton, General Manager of Bodyshop and Defleet.

We had great feedback from the young people who visited Allied. Several of them particularly enjoyed the practical elements of the taster and getting to change a punctured tyre in a safe environment. One wrote, “I would like to work here one day” and stated that they were now much clearer about what they had to do to get into a career in the automotive industry.

Giving young people the chance to experience a thriving, interesting workplace can inspire them to stay on in school or to apply for jobs in a specific industry. When combined with the work carried out by MCR pathways it can be life changing.

MCR Pathways was founded in Glasgow by philanthropist Iain MacRitchie. Iain had a very successful career turning around failing businesses and wanted to change his focus to the next generation of the workforce. When looking into the statistics surrounding Scottish care-experienced young people it was found that only 22% stayed on in school after age 16.

To try and combat this, the charity offers mentors for disadvantaged young people. Pupils meet with their mentor once a week for 50 minutes and receive guidance and support helping the young person to develop confidence and self-esteem. Of the pupils who have had a mentor in school 86% went on to full-time employment, further education, or higher education compared to 51% of those who had not been mentored.

Diarmid volunteers with MCR as a super ambassador and has been involved with MCR for around three years after he attended a seminar where Iain spoke passionately about the impact that mentoring makes to the futures of young people. After seeing the difference the work of the charity made, he was keen to get involved.

Diarmid said, “I grew up in the East End of Glasgow in a comfortable home environment, but I went to school in an area of social challenges and saw fellow pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds who had limited interest or family support in getting a good education. Since then I’ve always been keen to help support young people in any way I could. This program was perfect for that”.

Since joining up with MCR he has mentored a number of young people, visiting school once a week to help inspire them to believe in themselves and work hard towards a career or path they want to follow. Diarmid said, “If you can’t give up an hour of your life a week to help others then there’s something wrong with your priorities”.

Claire O’Hara, Creative and Talent Taster Development Manager with MCR Pathways said, “All the staff involved in the Talent Taster at Allied Vehicles went above and beyond the call of duty, especially Karen and Robert. Anyone who can make a health & safety talk interesting to a group of 14-16 year olds deserves a medal. It was inspiring to see our young people so engaged in learning and motivation. It is a privilege to work with organisations like Allied Vehicles who are committed to changing the lives of our city’s young people. This is the beginning of a fantastic, life changing partnership”.

We will continue to support the life changing work of MCR Pathways in future and if you’d like to find out more about them click here.