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Motor industry gathers SkillMiles

More than 100 businesses and another 100 individuals have signed up to the automotive sector's SkillMiles initiative in its first six months.

And more than 30,000 SkillMiles points have already been awarded by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) in reward of activity such as participation on working groups or loan of vehicles or equipment.

Collectively, these points are equivalent in value to over £300,000 of support from across the sector.

The SkillMiles scheme was launched by the IMI to award points to individuals and businesses helping to support its work in raising skill levels.

That support can include financial as well as ‘in kind’ contributions, such as a person’s time.

A tiered points system ensures that contributions are weighted fairly and there are four levels of recognition – bronze, silver, gold and platinum.

Through the scheme, the IMI will also be able to show the Government that employers and individuals in the automotive retail industry are making valuable contributions to skills development, which had not been recognised previously on an industry-wide scale.

Sarah Sillars, IMI Chief Executive, said: "The SkillMiles scheme was devised to offer a meaningful way of acknowledging the efforts of employers and individuals in driving forward skills development.

"We’re delighted that so many businesses have already signed up to play their part and have their contribution recognised."

Marshall Motor Group and Snap-on Tools Europe are two of the businesses which have earned SkillMiles for work in promoting careers in the industry at schools and events.

Carole Minter, Marshall's head of HR, said: "In order to attract and retain talented professionals within Marshall Motor Group, it is vital that we assume responsibility for promoting the automotive industry in our territory as well as continuing to develop our people so that they are suitably skilled to deliver a fantastic customer experience whilst ensuring that they are kept up to date with the technological changes that are taking place in the sector."

Terry Barcham, Snap-on Tools Europe managing director, added: "It should be apparent to all of us in the automotive business that we have a gap between perception and reality as to how complex, technologically advanced and customer focused the sector has become.

"SkillMiles is a powerful component in changing that perception.”

During September, the IMI will launch new developments to the SkillMiles website, which will show a list of those signed up and the level they have attained so far.

Among the companies registered are Autodata, bluecycle.com, Clelands of the Borders, Delphi Automotive, Fleet Auction Group, JZMachtech, Lifestyle Europe, Lloyds TSB Autolease, Thatcham and Thunder Road Motorcycles.

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