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Raising Standards in the Automotive Retail Sector

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Career development, Higher Education, Investment, Skills and training

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) visited the UK Commission recently to update us on their work that is being supported by the UK Commission’s investment fund.

The retail automotive sector has a poor public image based on stereotypical images of ‘wheeler dealers’ but this could not be further from the truth. Unfortunately, this poor image can have a negative effect on skills and recruitment into the sector.

To tackle these issues, IMI undertook their largest ever research project with employers which led to the development of three projects:

Higher Level Apprenticeships: Due to the poor reputation of the retail automotive sector employers are not getting the standard of entrants they want. IMI is developing various frameworks to tackle this with support from companies such as Jaguar Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz. These frameworks intend to develop technical and higher level technical and management skills with the existing workforce, so workers can grow in the motor industry and attract a younger age group at a higher level (post A Level entrants).

Continuous Professional Development: IMI’s research found that 49% of businesses feel training is too expensive, and that this is the main reason for not training. Working with Mercedes-Benz, PAR automotives and many others, IMI have developed CPD events and courses. Overall, 43 courses and events have been developed with an additional 21 in the pipeline.

Automotive Technician Accreditation: IMI have developed a voluntary accreditation scheme. This allows technicians to gain accreditation that employers actually want and trust. Achievement allows entry onto the Professional Register, which is time, bound for three years in order to ensure technicians’ skills are up-to-date. Currently 28,300 technicians registered and this is constantly increasing. From 31st March IMI are introducing a new approach where technicians can up-skill and retain accreditation by completing industry approved ATA modules, there will be are over 70 new ATA modules available.

For more information on any of these projects or the work of the IMI, you can visit

If you have any opinions on the projects we are co-investing in please comment or if you would like more information about them please visit the investment portfolio pages on our website.

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