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IAAF CONFERENCE SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED

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IAAF CONFERENCE SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED


The proceedings for the IAAF’s Annual Conference are well underway with a variety of industry speakers set to take centre stage and discuss the ‘real’ issues affecting the aftermarket, post Brexit.

So far, confirmed speakers include Dr. Julia Saini (Frost and Sullivan), Allistair Preston (whocanfixmycar) as well as Steve Nash (IMI), Olaf Heffing (Mahle) and more. The event will be facilitated by racing car legend Johnny Herbert who will help debate other topics on the federation’s agenda including the Connected Car and the government’s recent announcement for the abolishment of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.

IAAF Chief Exec Wendy Williamson said, “The expertise, experience and insight provided by our speakers will, I believe, feature in the future strategic planning of all those that attend”, she added. “We’re looking to the future, but we also recognise the pressures faced by our members today and will aim to provide some clarity and insight into these challenges”.

This year’s conference will take place at the Players Suite, Double Tree by Hilton on Thursday 7th December. For those invited, don’t forget your black tie!

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INDUSTRY REACTS TO ‘END OF INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE’ ANNOUNCEMENT

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INDUSTRY REACTS TO ‘END OF INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE’ ANNOUNCEMENT


IMI Chief Exec Steve Nash

The government has announced that it won’t permit the registration of petrol and diesel light vehicles from 2040, effectively ending the age of the internal combustion engine.

Existing vehicles will continue to be re-licenced for an unspecified period, but there is no doubt that the writing is finally on the wall for both cars and the way of business as we know it.

Pressure group Fair Fuel UK were one of the first to react. “So by 2040 no fuel stations, no garage repairs, no car parts suppliers and 15m diesels scrapped. The cost will be trillions” said Quentin Wilson, who is acting as lead spokesman for the group. Group Founder Howard Cox echoed the sentiment by saying: ““We have practical proven ways to reduce emissions available now. Why has Michael Gove ignored these in favour of a draconian policy that will hit small businesses and low-income families the hardest. The energy supply infrastructure and the National Grid will disintegrate in a breakneck move to nascent electric technology which will guarantee to cripple the economy.”

Engineering consultancy firm Ricardo chose the day of the announcement to launch its Global Automotive Group, which it says has a focus only on electric and autonomous powertrains. Mike Garrett, COO at the firm will head up the new division. He said: “We are ready both to help our customers with the most exacting challenges they face today, as well as helping them prepare for the cleaner, more electrified, technology-rich future”.

Perhaps understandably, a lot of talk was generated about scrappage schemes, even though Environment Secretary Michael Gove all but ruled out the idea for any such scheme on Radio Four’s Today programme.

“Whilst we are waiting for the details of the diesel scrappage scheme, we understand that it will have a 10 year limit”, explained Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI. “This means it will basically cover mainly Euro three emission standard and older. However, Euro four for diesel was introduced in January 2006 and remained in force up to January 2011. There will be a huge number of Euro four and five cars on the road as those standards ran though the peak registration years, especially Euro five which covered the period from January 2011 to September 2015. None of these cars have the Adblue (Urea) treatment introduced with Euro six which significantly reduces the NOx emissions which are now the main cause of concern regarding air quality”.

Nash also noted that a study conducted by his organisation found that insurance for alternative fuel vehicles can be 50 percent higher than for petrol or diesel equivalents and warns these won’t become more competitive until more people are qualified to work on them.

Currently only one percent of all technicians have been trained to work safely on the high-voltage technology, of which almost all of them work exclusively for manufacturers franchised dealers.

“The IMI is continuing its campaign for the introduction of a licensing scheme for those working on the high voltage vehicles, and we’ve asked the government to contribute £30m to support the uptake of the necessary training”, added Steve Nash. “In order to facilitate this and help clarify the competencies required for working on these vehicles, the IMI has launched a new Electric & Hybrid Vehicle qualification along with the appropriate support materials” he said.

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ECP LAUNCHES ‘EURO ACADEMY’ FOR TECHNICIANS


A hybrid training vehicle

A hybrid training vehicle

Euro Car Parts has become the latest factor to introduce a training programme for independent workshops. Boasting IMI-certified training, the initiative also includes a technical helpline and an online diagnostics database that includes a library of previous faults.

The initiative is supported by training firm Grup Eina and covers all areas of vehicle maintenance. This includes electrical, electronic, mechanical and diagnostic fault-finding and offers assessment and training for every level of workshop employee. For the master technician, courses take place at one of the factor’s IMI-approved training centres, which have a number of vehicles with various simulated faults that replicate real-life vehicle issues.

The programme covers three levels of membership. Level one offers unlimited use of helpline time, as well as access to troubleshooting and online assessments for technicians. Level two adds to that with one, two-day training course, while level three offers three, two-day training courses every year.

ECP says that the first 200 garages to sign up will receive a weekend package to attend AutoInform Live, including hotel accommodation and dinner with the Euro Car Parts team. AutoInform Live takes place the weekend of 19 and 20 November and provides a great opportunity to gain aftermarket insight and training while mixing with like-minded businesses.

Martin Gray, CEO at ECP, noted: “We’re delighted to further build on our commitment to the independent garage by unveiling our new training initiative. Technology continues to evolve at pace, with vehicles that are now more fuel efficient, computationally complex and diverse than ever before. With alternatively-fuelled vehicles and connected technology all making their way into the garage, it is important that the industry is in a position to respond.”

Gray continued: “Euro Car Parts is passionate about the UK’s independent garage network and, by investing in programmes such as the Euro Academy, we want to make sure our trade customers are well- placed to further build on their far-reaching levels of quality and service. Working in partnership with our members, we will continue to invest in and develop the Euro Academy to ensure that the independent garage sector is robustly positioned for the transport infrastructure of the future.”

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APPRENTICESHIP REFORM IS A ‘POTENTIAL DISASTER’


Plans do nothing for 'critical skills shortage' say experts

Plans do nothing for ‘critical skills shortage’ say experts

Motor Industry trade bodies have expressed dismay over the arrangements put in place for apprenticeships.

IMI Chief Steve Nash says the piecemeal approach of Government apprenticeship reforms is a ‘potential disaster for the motor industry’. Nash is urging ministers to undertake a wholesale review before pressing ahead with the changes. Meanwhile, RMI Bodyshop Director Jason Moseley warned that the new funding rates ‘fall concerningly short’ of those needed to deliver a ‘robust and quality’ apprenticeship programme.

Government has announced new funding arrangements for apprenticeships in connection with introduction of the Training Levy in 2017. The IMI says that many of the courses currently used by the motor industry to fill around 13,000 apprentice vacancies every year are subject to cuts of up to 50 percent in Government funding. This has sparked fears that the retail motor sector will suffer a trainee drought from next year, worsening what the IMI calls an ‘already critical skills shortage’ across the nation.

The IMI believe the Government’s plans are designed to push its ‘Trailblazer’ and ‘Employer Standards’ Apprenticeships. These courses attract three times the funding under the new arrangements than most current training schemes. £18,000 for a level three compared to £6,000 the three- year courses available now. However, with just one exception, the Institute say that none of the new schemes for the motor industry have been completed and that most won’t be fit for purpose for some time. In the meantime, the Institute believes that some of the existing courses will become economically unviable for colleges to provide leaving employers and learners in difficulty.

Nash said, “These proposed funding levels will leave some vital apprenticeships with up to 50 percent less funding. Employers around the country will struggle to get training places for their apprentices under this system. It begs the question, how this can possibly support the Government’s aim to create more apprenticeships?

Moseley said: “Funding levels in our industry are four times less than that for an aerospace technician – which is concerning to see as modern motor vehicles are often more technology laden than an aircraft. These new funding rates will affect hundreds of apprentices in our sector at a time where we should be increasing our investments – not reducing. This has a significant knock on effect to insurance companies who use our members to repair their policyholder’s vehicles safely.

“Newly appointed Apprentice Minister, Robert Halfon MP, has a golden opportunity to undertake an end to end review of the whole reform process and ensure that the new system is absolutely fit for purpose before the existing one – which delivered well over two million apprentice starts in the last parliament –
is rendered unusable”, concluded Nash.

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IMI CHIEF DEMANDS 70% PAY INCREASE FOR APPRENTICES

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IMI CHIEF DEMANDS 70% PAY INCREASE FOR APPRENTICES


The chief of the IMI has used a keynote speech to highlight the issues of low pay among apprentices and the problems of attracting new people to the industry.

Speaking at the IMI Annual dinner in Central London, the IMI’s CEO Steve Nash spelled out what changing expectations of school leavers mean to the industry if it wishes to succeed in attracting the best talent.

He said: “The industry is telling us they struggle to attract the highest quality school leavers into training that they need to help them overcome the technological challenges they face over the next decade. This demand cannot be met while the industry continues to pay apprentices the legal minimum of £2.73 per hour across the board.”

“The education system is now totally geared up to keep young people in school until they’re 18 and push them toward university. Meanwhile, young people no longer have access to careers advisors who might send them down a vocational route since the service was reorganised in 2012. This puts industry at a disadvantage.”

“The pool of available young people to go into apprenticeships is set to shrink dramatically despite the election promises we’ve heard from all the parties. Industry must take action independently.”

To offset arguments against raising pay on economic grounds, the IMI recently produced evidence to show the motor industry can cope with a £2 per hour uplift in the starting salary for apprentices.

Using an econometric model developed in-house, the IMI calculates the return on employer investment from a well recruited and productive apprentice, with a starting salary of £4.73, will still be on average 130% on sold hours alone

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