IGA Stresses Need for Automotive Sector Focus in Government Apprenticeship Levy Letter Response

In response to the letter sent by the Independent Garage Association to the Chancellor on January 19, 2024 regarding apprenticeships in the automotive industry, MP Robert Halfron, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships, and Higher Education, addressed the concerns raised by the IGA. While appreciative of the response, the IGA emphasises the need for a more focused approach that considers the unique challenges faced by the automotive industry.

In their letter to the IGA, MP Robert Halfron expressed gratitude for the association’s continued support for apprenticeships and skills development. They highlighted the government’s commitment to increasing investment in the apprenticeship program in England, aiming to offer more high-quality apprenticeship opportunities across the country.

The IGA’s letter, sent to the Chancellor in advance of the Spring Budget, highlighted the urgency of the message, citing a 39% decrease in new Level 2 & 3 Light Vehicle apprenticeship registrations since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2017, emphasising the importance of government action to address underfunding of automotive apprenticeship training.

While the response addressed various aspects, including the utilisation of the apprenticeship levy and funding for apprenticeship standards, the IGA stresses the importance of aligning policies and initiatives with the automotive sector.

Stuart James, Chief Executive of the Independent Garage Association, commented, “We appreciate MP Robert Halfron’s response, yet we note that there is limited reference to the automotive sector in the letter. The automotive industry plays a vital role in the economy, and it is crucial that policies and initiatives regarding apprenticeships consider its unique challenges and opportunities.”

James continued, “The letter predominantly focuses on the general principles of apprenticeships, and we urge for a more tailored approach to the challenges faced by the automotive sector. It is paramount that the government recognises the urgency of our message and brings about measures to apprenticeship funding to ensure the future of our industry.”

The IGA will continue its dialogue with policymakers to ensure that the concerns and priorities of the automotive sector are addressed in future discussions regarding apprenticeships and skills development.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • You can find the IGA’s call for government action to address automotive skills crisis here

Reminder: Ensure Compliance with MOT Assessment Deadlines

UPDATED: 23/02/2024

Dear Garage Owners,

As of February 22nd, 2024, a significant number of testers, totalling 29,459 have yet to complete their annual MOT Assessments.

This situation warrants attention for several reasons.

Failure to meet the MOT assessment deadline entails more than just a minor inconvenience. Testers who miss this deadline must demonstrate their proficiency to a representative from the DVSA in a face-to-face evaluation at their place of work.

Before scheduling this demonstration test, technicians must submit a DBS certificate to the DVSA via online channels.

Effective January 8th, testers returning after a disciplinary hiatus of 28 days or those returning after a period of lapse or suspension, which includes failure to complete annual assessments, must also furnish a DBS check.

To ensure compliance and smooth operations, consider the following strategies:

Calendar Management: Highlight the MOT assessment deadline prominently on your calendar. Treat it with the utmost importance, recognising its significance to the success of your garage.

Early Scheduling: Plan and book assessments well in advance to avoid last-minute rushes. Note that the final day to complete assessments in March is the 27th due to the bank holiday.

Gentle Reminders: Provide timely reminders to your testers regarding the impending assessment. A subtle prompt can significantly aid in ensuring timely completion.

Recognition: Upon completing assessments, acknowledge and celebrate this accomplishment. Recognising that it is a collective effort and fostering a culture of acknowledgement can bolster team morale.

In the automotive industry, preparedness is paramount. Don’t allow the MOT assessment deadline to catch you off guard. Instead, adopt a proactive approach as a garage owner, effectively navigating potential challenges.

It is worth noting that an Annual Training Package can now be conveniently purchased online via the RMI Training Academy Website.

For online bookings, kindly click here. Alternatively, you may contact the booking team at 01788 538 399

Best regards

Stuart James
Chief Executive

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