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AM & IMI People Conference: Put people in the driving seat

AM and the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) put employees in the driving seat when they host the industry’s first People Conference.

The AM and IMI People Conference takes place on June 12, 2014 at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London, prior to the prestigious AM100 Dinner.

A host of prominent industry personalities take to the stage including IMI chief executive Steve Nash, who also hosts the event alongside AM editor Jeremy Bennett, Marshall Motor Group CEO Daksh Gupta, Vauxhall retail network development director Chris Roberts and Peter Vardy’s group HR director Huw Roberts.

Bennett said: “This is a first for us and the industry. Employees are the driving force of a company but it’s a two-way street and by investing in people and their on-going training, dealers are safeguarding their future business success.

"Our conference shares best practice and latest industry developments to help dealers create some of the country’s best places to work and at the same time increase profitability.”

The keynote speaker is Formula 1 commentator and IMI ambassador Suzi Perry who is the ‘face’ of the organisation’s Professional Register, and from outside the industry Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa, head of Go Think Big, a website dedicated to pairing young people with businesses for internships, work experience, university work placements and gap years, explains how they are engaging young people in the world of work.

Meanwhile, Independent Garage Association (IGA) director Stuart James demonstrates how the increasing professionalism of the sector is helping enhance the perception of the industry as a whole.

Nash is helping automotive retail become a highly qualified professional body by working with large groups to encourage them to channel the millions of pounds the sector currently spends training into delivering courses which lead to nationally recognised qualifications.

He will also be joined on stage by his colleague Dr Paul Spear, head of ROI, who will demonstrate the cost versus the return when employing apprentices and how investment in training throughout an individual’s career pays in terms of business performance and ultimately profitability.

Industry colleagues include Gupta who will explain how Marshall Motor Group developed its people culture and their vital contribution to helping Marshall to be a £1 billion turnover national company.

Vauxhall’s Roberts will share how the brand’s new management and leadership development programme has helped identify and fill the skills gap in the network.

Winners of this year’s AM’s Best Training Programme award, Peter Vardy has its own academy at the heart of its operation and Roberts will demonstrate how the group’s focus on its staff has contributed to an over-achievement of business plans by 30% as well as an impressive 85% staff retention within the core sites.

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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