The IMI general election 'wish list'

The automotive industry is a mainstay of UK economic and social infrastructure accounting for around 866,000 jobs and £37 billion gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy in 2023. 

There are approximately 41.3 million licensed vehicles in the UK; the average age of cars on UK roads is 8.9 years. Automotive technology is advancing at a rapid pace; electric vehicle adoption is imperative to achieve net zero and the bill for Automated Vehicles to operate on UK roads received Royal Assent in May 2024.

These factors underline the importance of a workforce that is qualified and continuously trained. However, the sector currently faces a 22,000 skills gap.

Without correctly maintained and repaired vehicles, supported by a sufficiently populated, diverse, qualified and continuously trained workforce, economic and social stability is at serious risk. The automotive sector must, therefore, be a focus for the next UK government.

These are the key issues that the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), the professional body for all individuals working in the automotive sector, believes need addressing to ensure the sustainability of the automotive sector and, therefore, sustainability of the UK economy.


  • Support the infrastructure and pathways to improve the level of educators/trainers in automotive
  • Ensure automotive is fairly represented in the education curriculum from early years upwards
  • Ensure all levels of educational institution have curricula that match industry needs so that the next generation of motor industry professionals is well-prepared
  • Facilitate better attraction and retention of apprentices in automotive – give employers more reasons to employ, pay properly and continuously train


  • Support industry initiatives and skills initiatives to underline the importance of automotive to UK infrastructure – and demonstrate the breadth of careers opportunities available
  • Endorse the rigorous professional standards set by the IMI that ensure all motor industry professionals possess the necessary skills, knowledge, and ethics to perform their roles effectively
  • Provide financial support for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the motor industry to support recruitment, training and resources 
  • Support industry initiatives that ensure that opportunities within the automotive industry are accessible to all, regardless of background or circumstance, fostering diversity and inclusion

Road Safety/Consumer Trust & Confidence

  • Implement and oversee policies that inform consumers on the importance of using qualified/accredited technicians
  • Ensure that the MOT is fit for purpose for a future of ADAS equipped vehicles – as well as for all drive trains, etc
  • Ensure that private drivers and businesses have access to the right skills to be able to use UK roads safely and confidently

New Technologies

  • Ensure future policies take account of the increasing importance of data protection, privacy, and cybersecurity issues in terms of vehicle ownership and usage
  • Support the upskilling of the sector to work on ADAS, electric vehicles in order to avoid a postcode lottery on accessibility to these important advances for social mobility
  • Ensure automotive is adequately equipped and trained to support EV drivers