IMI and SMTA join forces to tackle skills gap

IMI and SMTA join forces to tackle skills gap

GARAGE owners and businesses say there aren’t enough qualified people coming out of colleges and the current workforces are buckling under technological pressure – that’s according to the Institute of the Motor Industry.

It has begun working with trade partners including the Scottish Motor Trade Association to offer businesses access to training that is delivered straight into the workshop.

The new partnership will give businesses an opportunity to teach staff new skills in the most time-effective manner and help them battle against the growing pressure created by new technology, said the IMI, which is the professional body for the automotive sector. With limited numbers beginning a career in the sector, the agreement between England and Scotland will also give the SMTA’s members the opportunity to join the IMI at a preferential rate, which includes providing them with access to the IMI’s eLearning training programme.

Sandy Burgess, chief executive of the SMTA, said: ‘We’ve recently finished the first year of the IMI’s MOT annual assessment, where we had predicted to see around 500 individuals entering on to the programme, but this exceeded our expectations, as we ended up seeing around 2,500.

‘This told me there was an energy and enthusiasm for a virtual format of learning, so we have taken that, and with my background, being a Fellow of the IMI, I was very keen to build up the professionalism of the individuals. With this being the main focus, the SMTA and the IMI have come together to allow SMTA members unique access to a membership level, plus 12 months’ access to the virtual learning environment.’

Steve Nash, chief executive of the IMI, said: ‘We’re delighted to be working with the SMTA. They do an amazing job of representing the interests of their members north of the border. Part of that is promoting those that are best to do business with, and that works on a business level and an individual level too.

‘The IMI will continue to work alongside the SMTA to add that stamp of approval for those individuals who want to show their professional status and their professional skills.’

Picture via IMI YouTube channel

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