Last month, the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) CEO Steve Nash issued a stark warning to government of a critical skills shortage amongst vehicle technicians. His message was delivered at an apprentice awards ceremony at the home of British Motorsport, Silverstone, attended by HRH Prince Michael of Kent.
Find out why the motor industry is facing a critical skills shortage…
IMI, representing the retail motor industry that’s worth £152 billion per year, has been warning of the need for government to help attract talented young people into the industry for some time. New research showing a shift in demand toward alternative fuel vehicles after the diesel emission controversy has heightened the risks to business in Britain of a skills deficit.
Research conducted for the IMI found that nearly 40% of UK drivers were considering buying or leasing an electric/hybrid vehicle in the next two years – a dramatic increase from the 2% of total car sales for electric/hybrid vehicles in 2014. Factors such as brand name, fuel efficiency and the environment were main reasons for drivers considering a move from petrol and diesel engines to more cost effective vehicles. Currently only 1% of the industry workforce is quailed to work on electric/hybrid vehicles.
Last month IMI CEO Steve Nash called on Ministers to invest in a nationwide careers programme to attract intelligent, enthusiastic young people into training for a career as electric and hybrid vehicle technicians.
Steve said: “Careers advice available in schools has been at best unhelpful for the motor industry since government reforms in 2012, and education cuts have meant schools are hoarding young people which consequently affects the ongoing skills shortage. Without significant investment from the government to bring young people into our industry, businesses will struggle to service its customers and provide the high-level jobs the economy desperately needs.
“IMI is honouring the industry’s top apprentices at Silverstone today to recognise their skills and dedication. These young people have world-class talent and clearly demonstrate the high potential available in this generation. It is incumbent on the government to help us bring more of them into the motor industry for their future and for ours.”
The shortlist for these awards includes apprentices from big names such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover, as well as small independent businesses from across the UK.
Are new technologies affecting the skills your members (and potential members) need? Let us know in the comments.