IMI welcomes Budget’s skills pledge

The Institute of the Motor Industry has welcomed the additional funding for training pledged in yesterday’s Autumn Budget, but has called for further clarity around how the £2.7bn set aside for apprenticeships will be spent.

The IMI has also urged the government to invest in upskilling the existing workforce, saying that only by future-proofing the skills of the sector can the electric vehicle revolution fulfil its role in helping the UK meet its net zero targets.

Steve Nash, CEO, said: “The Chancellor’s promises for training and development, to build a stronger economy, should be commended. The £3.8bn investment over the course of the current parliament in training is good news for the UK as a whole.

“However, there was a lack of detail around how the additional £2.7bn for apprenticeships up to 2025 will be applied. In particular we believe that there needs to be an acceleration in the updating of apprenticeship models to reflect the new innovations in automotive, which currently relies very heavily on employer input. Those employer panels would certainly benefit from some additional resources to support their important work. Without this, the government’s own ambitions in Decarbonisation could be seriously undermined.

“Currently the apprenticeship models are not fully aligned to the evolution of electric vehicles and other new and rapidly evolving automotive technologies. Yet the pace of growth in sales of EVs in particular has increased enormously in the last 12 months. Without a properly qualified workforce, the EV revolution – which is fundamental to the government’s Decarbonisation plan – could stall.

“As important as it is to grow the pipeline of new talent through apprenticeships, we would also like to have seen some more funds directed towards helping the existing workforce gain new skills to deal with electric vehicles in particular, to avoid an impending skills gap that we have already identified.

“We look forward to working with government to help it identify the actions that need to be taken to support employer panels and help them to ensure that automotive apprenticeships keep pace with rapidly evolving technology.”