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Embrace apprenticeships to help plug skills gap

By autotech-nath on March 17, 2023

The Institute of the Motor Industry is urging workshops to embrace apprenticeships – funding is available through the Government’s apprenticeship levy scheme, yet the latest data in the IMI’s Automotive Education Report suggests this is underutilised, meaning many businesses are missing out.

On average, 65% of all apprenticeships in the UK are supported by levy funds, but just 52% of automotive apprenticeships received such support in 2022, leaving the sector in the bottom third of all UK sectors hiring apprentices.

Starter figures appear more encouraging, with 43% more automotive apprenticeship starts in 2021/22 than in 2020/21. However, this is still 13% lower than pre-Covid levels in the 2019/20 academic year.

“Compared to other industries, automotive had the 6th largest year-on-year percentage increase in apprenticeship starts last year,” commented Joanna Hollingdale, Careers and Student Membership Manager of the IMI. “However, levels have a long way to go before they reach pre-Covid levels, which were already falling. The need to act now is becoming more urgent by the day. We already do not have enough qualified professionals to meet the growing demand for technicians trained to work on the latest and most innovative vehicles – including electric, hybrid and ADAS-equipped.”

With support from the apprenticeship levy, employers with a total annual pay bill of less than £3million pay just 5% of the cost of their apprenticeship training while the Government pays the rest.

The IMI is urging any employer unsure about what funding they can access to contact its support team who can provide guidance and support. To find out more visit https://tide.theimi.org.uk/apprenticeships-epa/provide-apprenticeship/levy

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