The IMI publishes ‘Wish List’ for next Government


Automotive professional body urges all political parties to ensure automotive is central to manifestoes

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. The  importance of having a workforce that is qualified and continuously trained is, therefore, critical and the Institute of the Motor Industry is urging all political parties to ensure they recognise the significance of the sector to economic and social stability.

The IMI’s ‘Wish List’ for the next Government addresses each of the critical issues around automotive vacancy rates, skills, education, and new technologies in automotive. 

“There is a clear opportunity for the next Government to learn from the past and provide the support and infrastructure that will ensure UK automotive remains a global leader, as well as give UK motorists and businesses confidence”, explained Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI. “However, without correctly maintained and repaired vehicles, supported by a sufficiently populated, diverse, qualified, and continuously trained workforce this fundamental is at serious risk.

“The IMI has worked hard to engage with all political parties over the last few years to ensure there is a good understanding of what’s needed to keep UK motorists and road users safe. The knowledge and expertise has been provided and we very much hope the next Government will place the right emphasis on automotive.”

The key issues identified by the IMI include:


Currently the automotive training workforce is severely under-resourced and the pipeline of new talent is not being adequately filled by new apprenticeships.

The IMI is calling for the new Government to ensure infrastructure and pathways are built to improve the level of educators/trainers in automotive, and the sector is fairly represented in the education curriculum from early years upwards. Support is also required to ensure employers are properly motivated to recruit and retain apprentices.


2024 has seen the skills gap in automotive widen, putting the sector – and road users - at serious risk. And with new technologies including electric and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) emerging at pace the gap is becoming more pronounced.

The IMI is calling for the new Government to provide financial support for recruitment, training and resources, particularly for the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) that make up such a large proportion of the sector. It also hopes industry initiatives such as the IMI’s ‘There’s More to Motor’ campaign, that ensure that opportunities within the automotive industry are accessible to all, are properly supported.

Road Safety/Consumer Trust & Confidence:

The IMI is calling for the next Government to implement and oversee policies that inform consumers on the importance of using qualified/accredited technicians. It also believes it is vital that the MOT is fit for purpose for a future of ADAS equipped vehicles – as well as for all drive trains.

New Technologies: 

Future policies introduced by the next Government should also take account of the increasing importance of data protection, privacy, and cybersecurity issues in terms of vehicle ownership and usage.

The IMI believes support for the upskilling of the sector to work on ADAS, electric vehicles and other automotive technology is critical to avoid a postcode lottery on accessibility to these important advances for social mobility.

The ‘Wish List’ can be downloaded at