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On World Youth Skills Day the IMI urges levy paying employers to retain and recruit apprentices

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The Institute of the Motor Industry (@The_IMI) is using #WorldYouthSkillsDay to urge automotive sector employers to think twice before cutting their apprentice recruitment plans for the coming year – Now is the time to use apprentice levy funds 

As Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI explained, unused apprentice levy funds will be clawed back by the government under the two year rule[i], and with the pressure to achieve zero emission targets by 2035, now is not the time for the sector to be reducing its skills pipeline.

“We have been talking[ii] to the largest employers in our sector and the consensus seems to be that the pause button has been hit hard on apprenticeship recruitment”, explained Steve Nash.  “It is, of course, great news that the Chancellor has offered incentives for both apprentice and youth training but we still can’t avoid the fact that our recent research suggested that 71% of automotive businesses said they planned to cut their apprentice new starts in 2020 with a drop of as much of 65% this year.”

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IMI analysis of DfE[iii] data for June further underlined the damaging impact of COVID-19 on apprenticeships. Automotive apprentice starts fell by 74% between March & May 2020 compared to the same time period the previous year. Those under 19 starting an automotive apprenticeship have fallen the most of the age groups, with a drop of 79%.

“The reality is that the contribution to the levy fund is made automatically so whilst clearly businesses that saw their income come to a virtual halt in April and May will be looking for any cost cutting opportunities, this is one area where we believe it makes sense to rethink”, continued Steve Nash. “The IMI can facilitate apprenticeships across no less than 20 automotive Standards, meaning that we can help employers find many ways to constructively use, rather than lose, their levy funds to continue developing skills right across their workforce. We can also help employers show young people considering their career options just how dynamic and exciting the automotive sector is.”

According to the IMI there are more than 196 job roles in the automotive sector, and the growing focus on zero emissions and connected driving technologies means that it is a truly world-leading technological sector with immense career opportunities. And the IMI offers a wealth of information about the career opportunities through its website.

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