The IMI welcomes and supports the Richard Review of Apprenticeships published on 27 November 2012. Many of conclusions and recommendations align with the IMI’s own published manifesto ‘Our vision for the UK automotive retail industry’ which has future skills needs and attracting talent at its core.
We welcome that the review recognises employers are at the heart of apprenticeship development and delivery. The IMI will continue to work with sector employers offering support to ensure that apprenticeships remain relevant and in line with technological advances and of high quality.
Linda Stansfield, Chief Operating Officer at the IMI said: “We will see changes to development and delivery of apprenticeships as a result of this review. However, the IMI will continue to work with all parties involved in apprenticeships to ensure the sector remains in the top five industries for apprenticeship placements.”
We support the differentiation between apprenticeships and vocational learning, agreeing with the statement that ‘everything is not an apprenticeship.’ Apprenticeships require a new job role, a role new to the individual that requires them to learn a substantial amount before they can do that job effectively. Training without a job is simply a form of vocational training or upskilling.
The IMI have a number of key initiatives that support other recommendations from the review. Autocity provides a portal of careers advice and guidance for schools, teachers, parents and advisors who guide young people in their career choices.
In 2011, the IMI launched the Professional Register which requires individuals to meet specific entry criteria expected for the sector with a commitment to keep their skills and knowledge up to date and sign up to an ethical code of contact. This again aligns with the review recommendation that apprenticeship qualifications should align to professional registration, where these exist.
As the complexity of vehicle technology continues to increase, we need to ensure that we attract the right calibre of apprentice. Working to help change perception about apprenticeships, which is also mentioned in the review, is again key to the success of our sector. By increasing the educational value of apprenticeships in England, young people will hold them in higher regard when considering a vocational or academic route of education.