Preparing for change: How the industry is shifting gear

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In this article: The IMI’s Steve Nash explains how the industry will evolve in the coming decades, and how the institute needs to adapt to meet new demands

The motor industry is heading down an electrified, connected, autonomous road, and as the vehicles on our roads change, so too will the skills needed to maintain and repair them.

That’s why the IMI has invested so much energy in its TechSafe campaign for change, which is designed to help the industry adapt to new developments.

“The purpose of TechSafe is to provide a sector with a trademark that demonstrates an individual's current competence to work with electrified vehicles and, going forward, embracing other technologies, such as driver assistance systems, autonomous and connected vehicles, which all bring requirements for new skills,” said the IMI’s CEO Steve Nash.

Changing technologies isn’t the only challenge, it’s also shifting legislation and regulation. Whether we like the decision or not, the government has committed to banning the sales of new petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles by 2035, and has announced consultation on the possibility of bringing this forward to 2032. That will undoubtedly have far reaching repercussions on our daily lives.

“By 2025 we're expecting to see at least three million electric vehicles on the road. By 2030 up to 15% of new cars could be fully autonomous, and by 2050, one out of three cars may be shared, meaning that we will see new and emerging job roles in the sector,” said Nash.

So, there’s an imperative to make sure individuals are competent and registered to work on the new and emerging technologies. Sadly, that could mean the days of the gifted amateur are over, but it does provide opportunity for the industry, but encouraging talent to join in will be a key part of success.

“It's vital that we create a healthy pipeline of people entering the industry. We need to attract the brightest talent, but we also need to change perceptions. We must show that this is a high-tech industry where the highest standards apply. We must show that we embrace diversity in all its forms. This industry must be the place that welcomes differences of gender, race, and outlook. That's the way to win the global war for talent,” said Steve Nash.

There’s no easy fix to the challenges facing the industry, but the continual promotion and showcasing of the huge array of automotive careers available will help. As will events such as the IMI Skill Auto competition, which culminates annually in the national finals at the NEC in Birmingham and highlights the range of opportunities available.

The industry will shift significantly over the coming decades, but campaigns such as TechSafe, will mean that we move with any changes.

Steve Nash was speaking at this year’s IMI annual dinner, where the awards for motor industry stars were presented, find out who won.