The Institute of the Motor Industry has appointed Mark Armitage as senior apprenticeship manager to help guide dealers, training providers and colleges through the changes to vocational training and the demands of the new levy.
Armitage said: “Skills shortages and the post Brexit economic fragility pose serious risks to the motor industry.
“Our sector is worth £154 billion a year and the economy needs it to be firing on all cylinders’.
“The Government hasn’t helped the situation with a haphazard overhaul of vocational education in the midst of an economic maelstrom.
“I’ll be setting out on the task of helping businesses find their way through the changes the IMI hopes to bring a sense of calm to the chaos.
“My mission in this role is to provide the best talent to the industry and the highest quality support to our training partners and the businesses they work with during the transitional period.”
Armitage’s temporary appointment is designed to keep the wheels of the industry moving by providing strategic advice and practical assistance for businesses on how best to use their training funding pot from the levy, as well as providing expert knowledge to enable IMI centres deliver their educational commitments in this changing environment.
Employers and trainers have just four months to go before the apprenticeship levy comes into effect.
The Government, the IMI says, has been failing to communicate information on the new system and a lot of employers, trainers and assessors are feeling unprepared for the changes.
Fearful that this uncertainty might leave the sector short of the new talent it desperately needs during a time of rapid technological change, the IMI has already attempted to bridge the gap with a comprehensive brief on its website and by conducting a live pilot of the new apprenticeships in training centres across the UK.
New apprenticeship standards are currently available in the sector are for light vehicle (level three), heavy vehicle and bus and coach.
Armitage will be coordinating IMI’s assistance to employer groups involved in creating new schemes for other work areas like body and paint and light vehicle level two.
Armitage was previously UK business development manager for the IMI. His career credits include training and development management at the RAC, Ford and Skillnet.