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Licence for sector skills given to IMI

The Institute of the Motor Industry has finally been granted the sector skills licence by the Government, two months after taking control of Automotive Skills.

The IMI is now officially the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for the motor industry. It will retain the Automotive Skills name as the division responsible for setting standards and delivering the SSC objectives for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The licence also means the IMI has access to Government funding worth £1.6m.

The IMI is putting £3m of its own money into the pot and has set out five “big win” initiatives: 14-19 year old training, adult learning (including women in work), building the career path, skills for management and leadership, and developing employer-led qualifications.

Retail group Dutton Forshaw has already piloted a level three management course that will form the basis for the management and leadership programme. A level four course is also being considered.

The IMI is now looking at how the industry can play its role. Rather than the old donations-based format, the IMI favours getting executives to commit to attending meetings, steering groups and forum debates.

“We have an 18-month window to carry out the sector qualifications strategy review,” said IMI chief executive Sarah Sillars. “We have to highlight in the business plan our deliverables on those five win areas.”

Sillars’ goal is to make the funding work in an employer-orientated way. “We will be respectable to the role of an SSC in ensuring the occupational standards are fit for purpose, updated, current and relevant for the industry,” she said.

“As long as we are responsible and accountable, the Government will help and support us to deliver for employers not stakeholders – that’s the bottom line for us.”

The IMI is recruiting new employees, including Sandy Burgess, current president of the Scottish Motor Trade Association, who becomes IMI national manager for Scotland.

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