A plan for drivers … but what about the workforce that will keep them on the road?
Institute of Motor Industry responds to Conservative Party ‘Plan for Drivers’
“It is a relief to at last see the Conservative Party recognising that motorists have been treated pretty poorly over the last decade or more with its ‘Plan for Drivers’. Undoubtedly designed to be a vote winner, many of the initiatives go to the heart of the pain points drivers have had to endure. However, there seems to be one glaring omission in the Plan. There is absolutely no mention of supporting the workforce that is fundamental to motorists – and businesses - being able to stay on the roads.
“The IMI has repeatedly reported the significant skills gap our sector is facing – both for the ICE vehicle parc that is currently predominant on our roads and for the future electric vehicle parc.. It is vital that government recognises its role in tackling this issue.
“There needs to be more focus on encouraging young people into the sector with apprenticeships that can be accessed easily. Employers need to be properly incentivised and rewarded to offer those apprenticeships. And, the training programmes that are vital to ensuring the workforce remains competent for existing and new technologies, need to be underpinned by government support.
“Our ‘There’s More to Motor’ campaign, has been designed to plug the growing skills gap by encouraging new and diverse talent to join the sector. But we can’t do this on our own. We need government recognition of the issues.
“The people working in the automotive sector seem to be the missing link in the Conservative’s plan. Yet without this skilled workforce – and make no mistake, working in automotive is a highly skilled profession – the fundamentals of a thriving economy falls over. If vehicles can’t be repaired safely and efficiently the economy could grind to a halt.”
Steve Nash, CEO, Institute of the Motor Industry