Time to get Brexit ready
Leaving the EU was divisive and to this day few agree whether it’s a good or a bad thing. But the decision has been made and from January 2021 the UK’s relationship with the EU changes. So, we need to be ready – and we need to focus on the positives.
Even assuming we agree a trade deal, new ties with the EU will mean a reduction in the availability of non-UK workers. So those companies that are hiring may need to bring in talent and transferable skills that they'd previously have overlooked.
We could start, for example, by bringing people in from the battered travel and aviation industries. They would boost engineering and high-voltage technology skills. The retail and hospitality sectors, which have also been mauled by the pandemic, could be a deep well of customer service skills.
Such people would need only limited retraining but would bring huge benefits to the automotive industry. What we need to show is that this is a dynamic sector that’s entering a transformative electrified era, with vehicles becoming connected and digitisation on the rise. We need to sell ourselves.
Yes, automotive has also been hit by the pandemic, but there are some positive signs. The government is pouring £2.5bn into its National Skills Fund to help boost employability, and it looks as if automotive will be included in the new Lifetime Skills Guarantee. Why shouldn’t people use the fund to help them retrain for a career in automotive?
Back to Brexit. It's worth getting prepared. Keep an eye on the government’s site. There was also a series of free webinars in November With a lot of sector information that you can now watch on demand. They’re worth checking out because the countdown has started.
The IMI is here to help in any way it can, so if you need us please get in touch. We’re available on +44 (0)1992 519025, or send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need us.