Apprentices down on pre-pandemic levels

New research has found that automotive apprentices in 2023 are eight per cent below what they were in 2019/2020 and 31% below what they were in 2018/2019.

This is despite a 12% increase in numbers in the first eight months of the year.

Emma Carrigy, research and insights manager at the IMI, said: “It is encouraging to see that automotive employers are working hard to bring new talent into the sector, compared to the same period in the last academic year. Indeed, we are among the few sectors that have actually seen an upturn in apprenticeship start numbers year-on-year.

“However, our data shows that automotive employers are lagging behind other sectors when it comes to using levy funding. This seems to be a huge missed opportunity particularly when inflationary pressures ae so challenging. So far for the 2022-23 academic year, 59% of automotive apprentices are levy funded compared to 67% across all sectors.”

The other concern for the IMI, highlighted in the report, is the drop in vocational qualifications as a whole at the start of 2023. The total number of automotive certificates issued in the first quarter is seven per cent lower than the previous year.