Automotive industry pledges to double number of apprentices to plug skills gap

A leading motor industry association has pledged to double the number of apprenticeships in the sector, following research showing that 120,000 skilled workers were needed within the next decade to prevent a major skills crisis.

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) wants 40,000 ‘home-grown’ apprentices in the automotive sector by 2013. It will launch an industry-wide campaign next year targeting school pupils from year nine (aged 14), parents, teachers, careers advisers, colleges and training providers, while also engaging employers across the sector.

According to research conducted by the Learning and Skills Council, the automotive retail sector require a total ‘replacement requirement’ of up to 120,000 people in all disciplines across the industry by 2017.

Sarah Sillars, chief executive at the Institute of the Motor Industry, said: “With rapid vehicle evolution, a shifting retail landscape and intense scrutiny from consumer groups, a robust and respected retail motor sector of the future means that we need to attract and retain highly capable young people who have what it takes to make a career in what is a highly credible professional vocation.”

The IMI’s pledge follows a government announcement to increase apprenticeships across all industry sectors from a current total of 250,000 to more than 400,000 by 2011, with more than £1bn in additional funding.

Skills minsiter David Lammy, said: “Such a rapidly evolving sector as automotive retail demands a highly skilled workforce and I am delighted that the IMI’s plans to bring more young people into the motor industry will complement the government’s pledge to increase apprenticeships across all industries.”

The government also recently set up a taskforce to find apprenticeship places for 10,000 young people on construction courses who cannot find a contractor to take them on to finish their training.




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