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Help frame the industry’s future with Automotive Skills

Automotive Skills has embarked upon a sector qualifications strategy (SQS) to help the motor retail industry improve skill levels and performance.

The organisation, now a division of the Institute of the Motor Industry, will hold consultations across the England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to draft and finalise an SQS.

It is employer-led and addresses key issues such as necessary improvements in technological, customer-facing and management skills, opportunities for career progression and staff turnover.

Research within the sector over the past few years identified that existing qualifications were not hitting the mark in terms of equipping employees with the required skills and competence.

A reform of the whole vocational landscape aims to align education and training more closely with industry, so that future Government-funded qualifications are more desirable, relevant and flexible.

Automotive Skills said this could involve a revamp of apprenticeships and the inclusion of sector-specific accredited programmes, such as Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA), on the national qualifications framework.

In addition, rapid advances in vehicle technology will be considered, to enable awarding bodies to 'plug in' new content and 'unplug' redundant topics more easily.

Steve Scofield, head of skills development for the IMI's Automotive Skills division, said: "By encouraging businesses to have their say in the development of a fresh qualifications structure, we will ensure that the retail motor industry has a platform for skills development which is fit for purpose in the years ahead.

"We're looking for some champions across the whole sector to contribute to this process as ultimately, it is aimed at improving business efficiency and profitability."

Employers interested in taking part in the consultations should email sqs@automotiveskills.org.uk to receive further information.

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