IMI welcomes apprenticeship enquiry

Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) is offering to help the Inquiry into the government’s 2020 apprentices target, announced by the sub-committee on Education, Skills and the Economy.

Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI, which champions the cause of apprentices, will write to the chair of the sub-committee offering its extensive research into the issue. He will also place the IMI apprenticeship experts at the disposal of the committee.

‘There are many good initiatives at work to encourage young people to consider apprenticeships as part of their continuing education,’ said Steve. ‘But, 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.  There is a real conflict of interest between schools holding onto 16 -18 year old pupils to bolster their funding and the clearly stated desire by government to see more taking the apprenticeship route.

‘We therefore welcome the opportunity to provide our research and expertise to the Inquiry.’

Research commissioned by the IMI last year revealed a concern amongst training providers and businesses with training academies in England regarding the government’s plans to increase apprentice numbers by 2020. Further education (FE) colleges and businesses believe they will struggle to recruit the numbers and quality of apprentices they need to sustain economic growth over the next five years. Education cuts, poor careers advice, and schools keeping pupils on to maintain funding, are all identified as contributing factors.

The survey, conducted by the IMI found that the majority of training providers welcomed the Government’s ambition to increase apprenticeships to three million but feared other policies will make it impossible to achieve. Seventy eight per cent of respondents said that careers advice, which has been provided in schools on an ad-hoc basis since 2012, is at best unhelpful. Only 10% think advice offered by the National Careers Service has any impact on apprentice recruitment.

The IMI represents the £152 billion a year retail motor industry, which needs 12,000 apprentices a year to stand still.