From education to employment

IMI will focus on five big wins in order to change culture of skills in the motor industry

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has set out five key areas it will work on in its new role as the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for the retail motor industry, having won the Government licence earlier this week.

In order to assist employers in generating demonstrable improvements in productivity and performance through a workforce which is better trained, qualified and recognised, the IMI will be focusing on five “big wins”, which are also aimed at enhancing the perception of the sector in the eyes of consumers and those seeking a career.

Activity will concentrate on the following areas:

14 ““19 year old provision ““ Working with schools, colleges and training providers to encourage high academic achievers into the industry through automotive-specific vocational qualifications, including the launch of new engineering diplomas in 2008.

Adult learning – Engaging employers to assist staff in improving basic skills, as well as opportunities to acquire new skills and knowledge, wherever possible through access to public funding, such as Train to Gain and Women in Work.

Careers ““ Making the sector a desirable career option by educating key audiences and implementing career paths. Working with employers and stakeholders to improve staff retention and apprenticeship completion rates respectively.

Management and leadership ““ Equipping managers with skills which will deliver improved bottom line performance through access to industry specific practical and economically valuable training.

Sector Qualification Strategy – The development and implementation of an employer led framework of qualifications and accredited training which is fit for purpose in the retail automotive sector.Ensuring a clear distinction between the IMI’s work as an SSC and its subsidiary awarding business, IMI Awards Ltd, the IMI will continue to utilise the Automotive Skills brand in its work relating to future National Occupational Standards, workforce development, labour market intelligence research and quality improvement.

In order to deliver its objectives effectively, the IMI is recruiting a number of new staff. Most recently appointed is National Manager for Scotland, Sandy Burgess, current President of the Scottish Motor Trade Association, who is based at its offices in Edinburgh. Overseeing the IMI group’s activity is a new Executive Board, headed by Steve Nash, formerly IMI Chairman of Council.

Commenting on the IMI’s status as a Sector Skills Council, Sarah Sillars, Chief Executive, IMI group of companies, said: “Further to the industrys successful collaboration on the Automotive Technician Accreditation scheme, there is now a tremendous opportunity to build on this and make a real difference to the whole sector by working with employers and stakeholders to raise the bar in terms of holistic skills, which ultimately will give a return to their businesses. Achieving a cultural change in the way we all think about skills will be challenging but the rewards will be evident in time.”

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