IMI calls for re-skilling

IMI chief, Steve Nash has issued a stark warning to government of a critical skills shortage amongst vehicle technicians and call for action to help reskill steel workers.

At an apprentice awards ceremony at the home of British Motorsport, Silverstone, attended by HRH Prince Michael of Kent, the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) called for government help with attracting young people into training and to take direct action to reskill adult industrial workers like those being made redundant in the steel industry to help fill the gaps that will stymie growth and productivity.

IMI has been warning of the need for government to help attract talented young people into the industry for some time, but new research showing a shift in demand toward alternative fuel vehicles after the diesel emission controversy has heightened the risks to business in Britain of a skills deficit.

Research conducted for the IMI found nearly 40% of UK drivers were considering buying or leasing an electric/hybrid vehicle in the next two years – a dramatic increase from the two per cent of total car sales for electric/hybrid vehicles in 2014. Currently only one per cent of the industry workforce is quailed to work on electric/hybrid vehicles.

IMI CEO, Steve Nash said, ‘Careers advice available in schools has been, at best, unhelpful for the motor industry since government reforms in 2012, and education cuts have meant schools are hoarding young people which consequently effects the ongoing skills shortage. Without significant investment from the government to bring young people into our industry, businesses will struggle to service its customers and provide the high level jobs the economy desperately needs.

‘Another option the government should consider to help the booming motor industry would be funding for training for some of the thousands of steel workers who are sadly being made redundant right now.’