IMI announces Diversity Taskforce – Motor Trader exclusive

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The IMI has announced today (11/3/21) that it is commissioning a Taskforce to investigate, research and make recommendations on how to improve the effectiveness of automotive businesses throughout the industry by becoming a more attractive employment opportunity.

The Taskforce which has been commissioned by Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI, will be led by recently appointed President of the IMI, Jim Saker and will have a specific focus on the greater inclusion of under-represented groups in automotive.
There will be three key strands to the Taskforce:

  • Attracting the BAME community to the sector
  • Helping the automotive sector become a workplace that embraces and encourages those facing physical and neuro disabilities
  • Addressing the lack of gender diversity

Jim Saker, President of the IMI said: “Before COVID-19 the automotive industry already faced a skills crisis. The pandemic has just served to accelerate that issue – automotive apprenticeships supported by ASA funding has fallen 56% in the last year and this is a serious cause for concern.

“But the issue goes much wider than just how to get automotive employers to recruit apprentices. The sector is not currently diverse and is therefore recruiting from an ever-dwindling pool of talent. That has to change if we’re going to be fit for purpose for the new, fast-evolving technological revolution, from connected and autonomous to electric, hydrogen and other clean fuel sources.

“There is plenty of evidence to prove that a diverse workplace delivers a better customer experience which, in turn, delivers improved profitability. The aim of our Taskforce, therefore, is to identify how we can become a sector that will appeal to and nurture a more diverse workforce.”

The year-long project will launch in April with a call for individuals from within and outside the sector to contribute to any or all of the strands. Anyone interested in getting involved should email