LONDON, October 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
IMI chief Steve Nash will today (22nd October) issue a stark warning to Government of a critical skills shortage amongst vehicle technicians and call for action to help reskill steel workers at an apprentice awards ceremony at the home of British Motorsport, Silverstone, attended by HRH Prince Michael of Kent.
Technical skill shortages in every discipline are being reported by businesses across the country in the booming retail motor sector. IMI is calling for government help with attracting young people into training and to take direct action to reskill adult industrial workers like those being made redundant in the steel industry to help fill the gaps that will stymie growth and productivity.
IMI, the professional body that represents the retail motor industry 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, but 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 Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) found 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. Currently only 1% of the industry workforce is qualified to work on electric/hybrid vehicles.
IMI CEO Steve Nash will also call on Ministers to invest in a nationwide careers programme to attract intelligent, enthusiastic young people into training for jobs as electric and hybrid vehicle technicians.
Steve Nash 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 effects 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.
"Another option the government should consider to help the booming motor industry would be funding for training for some of the thousands of steel workers who are sadly being made redundant right now"
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.
Notes to Editor
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SOURCE Institute of the Motor Industry