IMI backs government-apprenticeship drive

The motor industry, which needs 12,000 new apprentices each year just to stand still, has welcomed the government’s plan to boost apprenticeship numbers by improving the careers advice available to 16-18-year-olds.

The government recognised the need for schools to offer impartial, well-informed advice to pupils in a recently-published document, English Apprenticeships: Our 2020 vision, which supports its plan for of three million apprentices by 2020.

Steve Nash, CEO of the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), said, ‘Yesterday’s announcement by Nicky Morgan and Sajid Javid revealed the government’s commitment to address the current vacuum of advice and support regarding further education options for 16-18-year-olds, with a strategy for improved careers provision set for publication early next year.

‘This can’t come soon enough.

‘Currently, with no formal careers advice in schools, young people aren’t getting the direction they need to make the best choices for their future.’

Research commissioned by the IMI earlier this year revealed that Further Education colleges and businesses were doubtful of recruiting the quantity and quality of apprentices to sustain economic growth over the next five year.

The research also found that 78% of respondents thought careers advice from schools is unhelpful, with a damning 90% unconvinced that the National Careers Service has a positive impact on apprenticeship recruitment.

Steve added, ‘We feel very positive about the government’s stated commitment to ensure young people are inspired and supported to make the right career choices, including apprenticeships.

‘We are also pleased to see the commitment to an ‘employer-led’ approach.

‘With the new, independent Institute for Apprenticeships set to regulate the quality of apprenticeships, we think this provides an ideal opportunity for engagement with professional bodies, such as the IMI, to ensure the shaping and delivery of apprenticeships is fit for purpose.”