Independent Garage Association Calls for Government Action to Address Automotive Skills Crisis
In advance of the Spring Budget, the Independent Garage Association (IGA) has written to the Chancellor, emphasising the need for new entrants into the independent automotive sector.
Stuart James, Chief Executive of the IGA, stated, “It is widely recognised that there is a shortfall of suitably skilled professionals within the automotive sector, and we have urged the Chancellor to take appropriate action to holt the decline. This is a great opportunity for the government to provide help and to take steps to fill the skills gap in the automotive sector.”
Since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2017, apprenticeship numbers have plummeted, made worse by chronic underfunding of apprenticeship training. This change to the apprentice levy has resulted in the automotive industry experiencing a 39% decrease in new Level 2 & 3 Light Vehicle apprenticeship registrations.
James continued: “It is paramount that the government recognises the urgency of our message and bring about measures to apprenticeship funding to ensure the future of our industry.”
A shortage of qualified technicians may result in garage closures, which would heavily impact consumer choice and limit competition, adversely affecting the mobility of the UK working population. Investing in training and apprenticeships strengthens the industry and the UK at large.
In light of these challenges, the IGA has put forward an innovative solution to provide financial incentives for individuals aged 19 and above who are currently not employed, in education, or undergoing training. This proposal suggests utilising unused Levy funds to enhance trainee earnings, attracting fresh talent to the automotive sector. The potential outcome is a reduction in the government’s benefits expenditure while offering crucial support to Independent Garages facing challenges in recruiting staff across the UK.
NOTES TO EDITORS
- Data from the IMI about vacancy predictions can be located here.
For further information, please contact:
IGA Communications & Marketing Manager
Tel: 07721 126 758