IMI inspires a new generation of automotive talent with the donation of Assisted Reality headsets to colleges

presentation realwear

Industry body’s collaboration with Autotech Connect and RealWear embraces technology-based tools to aid learning. 

Inspiring a new generation of automotive talent, the IMI, in collaboration with Autotech Connect and RealWear, has donated Assisted Reality headsets to 18 colleges and training providers nationwide. The pilot scheme was launched at the IMI’s headquarters last month and the specialised kit donated to colleges as part of a 12-month trial which is set to aid automotive learning and streamline the End-Point Assessment (EPA) process.

The aim of the pilot is to remove onerous and manual administration tasks, and the associated risk of data loss, for the education workforce. It will also create a picture of how technology-based tools can be implemented within an education setting to improve the learner journey.

Sean Baker, Motor Vehicle Lecturer for Stamford College, a participating college said: “The opportunity to have the headsets, will allow us to introduce the students to the emerging technologies that will become common place in the automotive workplace in just a few years. Being part of the pilot program with the RealWear headsets puts the college at the forefront of utilising new equipment and will allow us to capture real time data that can be used as part of the student’s portfolio. We have shown this equipment to others within our technical skills department, and the response has been overwhelming. We now have a waiting list of those wanting to use the headsets.”  

The assisted reality headsets are already being utilised by the IMI and have assisted in converting the EPA, along with the moderation and quality assurance processes, to a global, paper free environment, while delivering efficiencies during the observation and supporting activities. 

The proliferation of connected and software-defined vehicles entering the market is already impacting automotive skills and knowledge and technology is expected to increasingly play a role in supporting the aftermarket, from helping to diagnose issues, streamline processes, lessen workloads, and supplement skills. The IMI works closely with qualification and apprenticeship regulators and its IMI Centre Member network to continually identify how technology-based tools can aid automotive education providers. This latest venture will determine how assisted reality headsets are utilised by colleges, and support the future generation of automotive talent.

Launched to help the automotive aftermarket effectively implement technology and AR hardware into their businesses, while counteracting the growing risk of cybercrime threats, Autotech Connect is the fourth division to be launched by Autotech Group. Its Autotech Academy division, launched in 2021 to create paid internship opportunities for newly qualified automotive students with aftermarket employers, has synergies with Autotech Connect as technology and AR will increasingly feature within the workshops and garages today’s young technicians will work in and manage.

Mark Armitage, Autotech Group’s Commercial Directorcomments: We are delighted to be part of this initiative. Our objective is to create solutions for the industry which will help fill the talent pipeline and prepare both current and future workforces with the right skills and tools as vehicles continue to evolve. However, the competition to attract and retain talent remains fierce and we need to showcase the progression of the industry, including the growing use of technology and AR to motivate young people, inspiring them to complete their studies and forge a career within the aftermarket. We were delighted to work in collaboration with the IMI and RealWear to donate the headsets to colleges and look forward to hearing their feedback.”

RealWear is one of the world’s leading providers of assisted reality wearable solutions, and the company’s Derrick Sawyer, who attended the launch and facilitated in the demonstration and donation of the assisted reality headsets to colleges, added: “RealWear is delighted to support the IMI and Autotech Connect and empower the next generation of vehicle technicians to use the tools which will enable them to be the best version of themselves in their chosen career.”

Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI concludes: “This is an exciting time for the automotive education sector, with new technology-based tools constantly evolving to facilitate and expediate learning to develop the skills so badly needed across our industry. Our collaboration with Autotech Connect and RealWear is part and parcel of our commitment to spotlighting how there is so much more to motor than generally perceived. Indeed, our latest campaign ‘There’s More to Motor’ is amplifying this message across the country, sharing the voices of those who are actively taking advantage of advancing automotive technology and the significant opportunities this is offering in terms of a career and professional development.”