IMI predicts autonomous breakthrough in 2023

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has predicted that 2023 will see great forward strides in both autonomous technology and a focus on diversity in the workforce.

It says Level 3 autonomous vehicles will be introduced to UK roads next year, but this will exacerbate the existing lack of skills and training budgets.

IMI CEO Steve Nash said: “The CBI says that the skills shortage will be with us for the long term, so employers need to plan long term. Although apprenticeship numbers have increased significantly, they still aren’t at the pre-pandemic levels they need to reach if we are to avoid long term challenges in finding the talent our industry needs.

“With the skills gap widening and costs increasing rapidly, I have real concerns about the future of our industry, and the impact of employers having to make the tough choice between keeping the lights on and spending on essential training.”

Meanwhile, Nash also believes employers need to get serious about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) if the industry is to remain sustainable.

He said: “We have no chance of addressing our skills gap without widening our appeal to currently under-represented groups. Through the IMI Diversity Task Force, we will continue to focus on providing employers with practical solutions they can apply with both their existing and future employees. We believe this will, in turn, increase the gender, ability and ethnic diversity of the industry and address the growing skills gap.”