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IMI to launch return on investment calculator for training

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) will launch a new online calculator later this year which will enable businesses to evaluate the potential return an apprentice could provide within and beyond their apprenticeship.

Head of ROI Paul Spear will make the persuasive case for apprentices when he speaks at the AM and IMI People Conference which takes place on June 12 at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, prior to the prestigious AM100 Dinner.

The IMI  has also rigorously measured the application of management training (through business projects) as a means of bridging competency gaps in an aftersales network management development programme as well as  identifying the significant benefits of junior, middle and senior managers and their companies undertaking BSc and MSc management degrees.

The Apprentice ROI study stretched over two years as well as drawing on historical data and illustrated apprentices can add three times as much to the bottom line as their cost. A complex model was devised following the study which involved nine companies and 30 apprentices whose sold hours contributions were recorded separately so productivity could be tracked.

Commented Spear: “The rigorous and accurate recording of the apprentice’s contribution to sold hours was key, as was the access to historical data.   There are obviously different levels of productivity at the start of an apprenticeship as an older apprentice starter could be more productive than a school leaver with little or no practical skills.

“In our interviews with businesses we found that many technicians are eager to have an apprentice working alongside them because they know their own efficiency and productivity will increase. The companies we worked with knew their apprentices were cost effective or were even providing a good return but they had not fully quantified the benefits.   The IMI’s detailed study has enabled us not only to prove it but develop a calculator.”

With the calculator able to demonstrate up to a potential 300% ROI, apprenticeships make a compelling business case.

He added: “I had a good idea of how the calculations would look because we have proven time and again that investment in appropriate training provides significant added value and returns for business.  What took us by surprise was that the quality of the data from the employers which enabled us to demonstrate growth in real apprentice productivity as their expanding knowledge and skills are increasingly applied over time. The big challenge for us was getting that message out to the micro and SME businesses.

"We are continuing our marketing campaign to raise awareness of the positive return on investment and, equally importantly, the intangible benefits an apprentice can bring to a business.” 

Read the IMI's research here.

Tickets are available to dealers, manufacturers and automotive businesses, with a limited number of supplier tickets on sale. To book, please contact Emma-Louise Kinnaird on 01733 395133, email or visit

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