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IMI sees the first signs of recovery

Early signs of recovery in the motor trade training and apprenticeship sector are starting to show, according to Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) chief executive Sarah Sillars.

While training has definitely diminished in the past twelve months, uptake of college training has remained popular with youngsters. The recession has meant many of these students have not had on-the-job training as part of their courses.

“There are now definitely signs of people being taken back on. Companies are reconsidering taking on apprentices,” said Sillars.

“It will happen where businesses can add cost in a way that will be absorbed,” she added.

The recent budget announced plans for extra funding in further education for 16 and 17-years-old as well as finding employment for all under-25s that have been out of work for more than 12 months.

Sillars said this move will only have a small impact on education within the motor trade, but is optimistic moving forward.

Many manufacturers have reduced cost of training while some are giving it for free.

“Where there has been co-operation between dealer council and manufacturers, there have been much more partnership so that training does not come to a halt like in the last recession. Long term, cutting training is detrimental to businesses,” said Sillars.

IMI has launched a funding advice helpline to simplify the process for interested candidates.

There are 11 different regional development agencies across the country, all of which have different priorities for funding for training.

The helpine can inform people where to get the most support for their area of training.

“We are helping people to try and follow the money,” said Sillars.

She added: “My biggest fear in recessionary times is that people will actually leave the trade and take their skills elsewhere. We’ve very sad to have seen the number of job losses across the sector. There are now early indicators that things are starting to improve.”

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