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Government backing for new training initiative

Leading motor industry training bodies have got behind proposals to boost funding for training in the automotive sector.

Business secretary Lord Mandelson announced the move as part of the government’s £2.5 billion package to support the industry.

Mandelson said spending on skills training would be bumped up to £100 million from its current £65 million if there was demand.

The extra £35 million from the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills, which is primarily intended for car manufacturer training, will be offered via the Train to Gain scheme.

Rob Foulston, Remit and RMIF chief executive, said extra funding was good news for the industry and Remit looked forward to working with government to further the cause of developing skills.

He added: “Investment in training is vital if the sector is to move beyond the current economic situation.”

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC), which oversees Train to Gain, has also announced new funding allocations weighted towards the sectors where it is most required: it considers one of these to be the automotive retail sector. 

Funding is allocated through a tendering process.

The IMI, as Sector Skills Council, said it is working with training providers and employers to establish routes to obtain funding and is keen to establish further links to ensure the automotive sector can benefit from skills development that meets its needs. 

The LSC recently increased the flexibility of its eligibility criteria for access to Train to Gain funding.  Employees who already hold a Level 2 qualification and are looking for another Level 2 or higher, are now eligible for funding, as are employees looking for part-qualifications or what the LSC calls ‘bite-sized chunks’ of training. These new allowances only apply
to England.

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