IMI unveils new training model

The IMI has launched a new learning initiative aimed at tackling the shortfall of 23,000 skilled workers in the automotive sector.

The Further Education Lecturer Reservists (FELR) initiative was discussed at a roundtable held at Westminster, hosted by Chris Clarkson MP and chaired by Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, Luke Hall MP.

Also attended were leading figures in education and policy, including Robert Halfon MP, ex-Skills Minister.

FELR will see professionals in key STEM industries form a ‘reservist’ group of trainers to support existing education facilities.

The model has been initiated by Hayley Pells, policy lead at the IMI, with support from the WMG at the University of Warwick.

She said: “In an era where dynamic careers and lifelong learning are not just aspirations but necessities, our proposal redefines the interface between industry and education. By introducing the Further Education Lecturer Reservists (FELR) model, we are crafting a visionary approach that enables professionals to impart their invaluable industry experience without foregoing their roles in the workforce.

“This initiative not only addresses the acute shortage of skilled lecturers, particularly in STEM fields, but also enriches the learning experience by ensuring that education keeps pace with the rapid advancements in technology and industry standards.

“Our proposal pivots away from traditional models that require professionals to leave their careers; instead it supports a dual engagement strategy that enhances their development while maximising their impact on the next generation of professionals.

“By fostering a flexible, collaborative ecosystem, we are not just filling an educational gap — we are propelling a movement that will shape the future of technical education in the UK, ensuring it is robust, responsive, and reflective of real-world needs.”