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School programme to address skills shortage

A new school initiative has been established aimed at addressing the estimated shortage of 15,000 apprentice technicians in the automotive industry.

Launched by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), the Pre-Apprenticeship Level 1 Award is aimed at 14-16-year olds interested in vehicle maintenance, body repair and refinishing. The two-year programme, which is studied alongside GCSEs, gives candidates a ‘fast-track’ route to a full three-year apprenticeship.

There is high demand for places on the pre-apprenticeship across the UK, with some 1,500 students already registered through 70 colleges and schools. The IMI expects this to grow considerably as schools form partnerships with local colleges and specialist automotive training providers.

The IMI says the scheme has the support of the Rt Hon Charles Clarke MP, secretary of state for education and skills.

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