The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has launched a report which it says can prove return on investment (ROI) figures if a business puts up the money to train staff.
The IMI commissioned four independent studies carried out by the University of Leicester, assessing the impact of their skills accreditation programme.
The report shows that Autoglass achieved a 98% ROI when it invested in Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA).
ATA is a voluntary scheme that proves a technician’s competence.
Autoglass linked ATA to pay and reward, with the study finding that for every £1 spent on ATA, Autoglass saved £2 in lost production.
The previous studies published in July carried out with Mercedes Benz, Halfords Autocentres and Allparts Automotive also showed improved ROIs ranging from 98%-187%.
The IMI is now calling on employers to take action to invest in skills after 32% of small to medium businesses avoided training staff last year.
The IMI said 1,545 SMEs closed last year and it believes the lack of training would have contributed to their failure, with training providing a “positive effect on the bottom line”.
The IMI said: “The new study has firmly proved that accreditation drives business.”
To ensure that these findings are shared within the industry, the IMI commissioned a video to highlight the ROI findings.
Ruth Badger, star of the BBC TV show The Apprentice and business woman in her own right took part in the video.
Badger said: “Investing in skills is an area that employers can often be reluctant to spend on, but the IMI has proved that investing in your people should be a no brainer.
“I’m passionate about apprentices not just because of the TV show but because at 16-years old I was on YTS which was an apprenticeship.
“I now employ two apprentices every year. ATA improves self-esteem, professional development and provides a long-term career path. Investing in skills as the study shows is money very well spent.”
As well as monetary gain it also had the added benefits of inspiring technical staff to reach targets, and improve time management. Management also found it lead to better staff retention, 26% of this was attributed to ATA and the cost savings Autoglass found equated to almost 17%.
Sarah Sillars OBE FIMI, executive chair of the IMI, said:“The commercial return on investing in skills is demonstrated here by these respected automotive companies.
“We need to assist our sector to make investments with good commercial returns and remove some of the previous concerns that training and development can be a cost.
“Budgeting, and spending on training right now is, as the studies show, a safe and profitable investment.”