Community Project - 'A Business'

What is the project? –

The project starts with AZ Autos donating a car to the charity Phase who work with local schools in Hitchin. We will then take two students out of The Priory School in Hitchin once a week for 12 x 2 hour blocks. Over the 12-week project the students will be tasked with renovating, sourcing parts, cleaning, advertising and selling this vehicle. All revenue generated from the sale of the vehicle will be used by the charity Phase to invest in services for young people struggling with mental and emotional issues.

What is the purpose of this project?

We want to encourage students to get a real experience of what it is like to work within a business and even what it is like to run your own business. On completion of the project the pupil will receive an ADSAN qualification. We hope to introduce students to new skills and situations used in day-to-day business life such as negotiation, cost analysis, marketing and good old fashioned hard graft. We hope to inspire business aspiration in students and introduce them to what it is like working for an organisation on a real project.

What are the outcomes for the students?

  • An ASDAN qualification
  • Discovering skills and aspirations
  • Real work skills and experience

What is the outcome for Phase?

  • Fund raising
  • To support the young and the local community in an exciting new project
  • The potential of growing the project into other industries if successful

What is the outcome for AZ Autos?

  • AZ Autos mission is to ‘Instil Confidence in our workforce, customers and community’. This will help us instil confidence in our community.
  • Potential for growing the project model.
  • Moral in staff who are tasked to work alongside the project.
  • Investment in youth and training
  • Week 1 – The Interview

    The two students, Luke and Tom, were put into a business interview situation. David Alvarez (Director of AZ Autos) and Kieran Murphy (Director of Phase) quizzed the students on what they knew about their organizations, what are the students strengths and weaknesses, how would they approach certain situations and why they were the right students for this project.

    Both Directors came armed with questions from their recruiting repertoire and then the students were scored on the following fields:

  • Week 2 – Mechanical Check


    As Luke was off school due to sickness it was left to Tom to survey the Volkswagen Polo. With the help of AZ Autos Junior technician, James Westley, Tom used an industry standard 50-point check sheet to evaluate the little Polo’s mechanical condition.


    Tom was given 2 hours to thoroughly check the vehicle and came up with the following items that needed changing:

  • Week 3 – Ordering from Suppliers


    Tom had the job this week of calling around suppliers to get a cost for all the parts needed and negotiate the best possible deal. We first had a brainstorm about why it was important to get the best possible price on parts and how that would affect the profit of any potential sale

    Tom wrote down the following list of parts to get prices on:

    Fuel Filler Cap
    Front Drop Link
    CV Boot
    Wheel Cylinder
    Driveshaft Oil Seal
    Spark Plugs
    CD Stereo

  • Week 5 – Car Wash and Valeting

    It was early on a Tuesday morning, there was a cold frost with the temperature at only 4 degrees and the students, Tom and Luke, were over at AZ Autos Used Car Select Centre ready for a mornings work. No car is ready for sale without a good clean and valet and that was their task this week. Tom and Luke layered up and put on their overalls.

  • Week 6 – Market Research


    By this point Tom and Luke had checked the Polo, ordered and fitted the parts, washed and cleaned it and it was now ready for selling. Before they could sell it they needed to know where they were going sell it and how much they could sell it for. After a quick introduction to the 4 P’s of marketing (Product, Place, Promotion and Price), they set to work at researching where was the best place to sell cars.

  • Week 7 – Advertising


    With all the research done it was now time to advertise the little Volkswagen Polo. Tom and Luke’s first task was to write the text for the advert. They selected all the technical data and decided on the following advert text:

  • Week 8 – Customer Enquiries and Sales


    Tom writes this week’s entry for the project:

    “On week 8 we were looking at some of the buyers and some of the questions that they had on the car. Then we answered and told them that it was checked by an official mechanic and that it had the log book (V5) and the service history and said what we had changed.”

    Click here to read about Week 9

  • Week 9 – Presentation Preparation


    With the Polo sold it was now time summarise what we had learnt from the Project in form a presentation. Luke, a student involved with the initative, writes the next installment of our Blog:

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