IGA calls for apprenticeship funding in Spring Budget

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has warned of a severe skills shortage in the sector and urged Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to introduce new funding for apprenticeships in his Spring Budget.

Since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in 2017, apprenticeship numbers have plummeted, resulting in a 39% decrease in new Level 2 & 3 Light Vehicle apprenticeship registrations.

The IGA has now put forward an innovative solution to provide financial incentives for individuals aged 19 and above who are currently not employed, in education, or undergoing training. This proposal suggests utilising unused Levy funds to enhance trainee earnings, attracting fresh talent to the automotive sector. The potential outcome is a reduction in the government’s benefits expenditure while offering crucial support to independent garages facing challenges in recruiting staff across the UK.

Stuart James, chief executive of the IGA, said: “It is widely recognised that there is a shortfall of suitably skilled professionals within the automotive sector, and we have urged the Chancellor to take appropriate action to holt the decline. This is a great opportunity for the government to provide help and to take steps to fill the skills gap in the automotive sector.

“It is paramount that the government recognises the urgency of our message and bring about measures to apprenticeship funding to ensure the future of our industry.”