From education to employment

Building the Skills of the Automotive Sector

Steve Nash, Chief Executive, IMI

Professional body for the automotive sector, Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), has published a new strategy document.

Launching tonight (6 Mar) at the IMI Annual Dinner in London, ‘Campaigns for Change’ outlines the key areas where the Institute feels it can best assist individuals and businesses in addressing the multitude of challenges facing the sector in a period of unprecedented change.

‘Campaigns for Change’ is based on broad industry feedback from IMI members and from employers generally about the keychallenges they face which they believe the Institute can help with.

Broken down into four chapters, the document looks at where the IMI can help with:

  1. Attracting & Retaining Talent
  2. Ensuring the Industry has Effective and Forward Thinking Management
  3. Working with Government to Ensure the Continued Success of the Sector
  4. Helping Raise Standards and Public Confidence in the Automotive Sector

Our industry is well served and supported by many highly effective Trade and Industry Bodies and it is not our job to duplicate their efforts. Our role as the industry’s Professional Body is distinct and ‘Campaigns for Change’ aims to help clarify where we can bring our specific expertise to bear in supporting individuals and businesses.

Attracting & retaining talent is a challenge for all employers in all sectors. For us to compete effectively we must demonstrate that we offer long-term, professional careers which can be supported by a broad range of internationally recognised qualifications and accreditations which more than matches what other sectors can offer

Attracting talent is one thing, but retaining those people is more often than not a function of how they are managed, led and developed. So it is critically important that we have the means to continuously develop our managers and leaders and equip them with the skills to build and develop effective teams. Having done that we need to give appropriate recognition to differentiate those true professionals who are committed to their own ongoing development.

Working with government is a key role for a Professional Body. We need to ensure that they understand our problems and challenges and provide us with the support we need to do the best job for our customers and the economy. In particular, we need to influence skills policy and ensure that it is fit for purpose in our sector and supports our need to continuously develop new talent.

Last but certainly not least, we need to play our part in addressing some long standing and outdated stereotypes about the automotive sector. Raising public confidence involves clearly differentiating the professionals in our sector from the unprofessional and working with government to establish new minimum standards of skill and expertise in relation to the new and emerging technologies, as we have been doing with electrified vehicles.

2019 is already proving to be a year of change and challenge, both on a global scale with Brexit and at a more individual business level.  Some businesses are struggling to adapt to the apprenticeship reforms; others are working out how they can integrate new technology into the way their workplaces operate. These factors will require attention from all areas of the industry, and the IMI is determined to drive change whilst providing solutions, supporting individuals and businesses, and supporting the sector with appropriate skills solutions.

Steve Nash, Chief Executive, IMI

About IMI: The professional body for the motor industry, and the authoritative voice of the sector. IMI is transforming the automotive industry by setting, upholding and promoting professional standards – driving skills acquisition, establishing clearer career paths, and boosting public confidence.   IMI’s online Professional Register is here to make sure consumers are in skilled, competent and trustworthy hands.

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