‘Plan for Jobs’ – IMI response
Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI responds to ‘Plan for Jobs’
“It is welcome news that the Chancellor has focused on job creation in today’s statement as we emerge from the dark cloud of COVID-19. For a sector which represents such a significant proportion of the UK economy this is crucial.
“In particular, we are delighted to see the injection of funds – albeit only for the short-term – for the creation of new apprenticeships. Recent IMI research had suggested that 71% of automotive businesses were cutting their apprentice new starts in 2020 with a drop of as much of 65% this year. So we hope this will encourage a rethink in that area. The introduction of incentives for trainees – with vital support from careers advisors – should also be good news for the Training Centres that have predicted a fall of on average 38% in their intake for 20/21.
“We also know that a large proportion of the current apprentice cohort in our sector have been languishing at home on furlough so we are delighted that employers will be incentivised to bring furloughed employees back to work – rather than lay them off.
“It is, however, disappointing that the Chancellor did not see fit to cut VAT beyond hospitality and tourism. These sectors have, of course, been hit incredibly hard by the impact of the lockdown. But so too has the automotive sector. A VAT cut on car sales would have made a big difference in encouraging consumers to get back into the showrooms – virtual or physical – and that would have in turn helped with the government’s ‘road to zero’ objectives.”