The number of apprenticeship placements ‘slowed down considerably’ before the pandemic, and recovery is only just getting underway according to an IMI report.
Joanna Hollingdale, Careers and Student Membership Manager of the IMI believes this new data suggests that automotive employers are still not looking at apprentices as a component to tackle the skills gap, despite strong evidence of the clear return on investment of apprenticeships.
“Automotive apprenticeship starts have had one of the smallest percentage yearly increases, with only travel & tourism , manufacturing and sport, leisure and recreation with smaller increases,” she said. “Yet our sector has played a fundamental role throughout the pandemic – keeping Britain moving – and has a significant contribution to make in the Government’s Decarbonisation Plan”.
“What particularly concerns us is the lack of take-up of the apprenticeship levy,” continued Hollingdale.
“Only 35% of automotive apprenticeships were levy-funded in 2020/21 compared to all apprentices that were 61% levy funded. With such a big task ahead of the sector in terms of being ready for the new automotive innovation – from ADAS and connected to zero emissions – it is crucial that employers build their pipeline of a trained workforce and the apprenticeship levy can play a vital role in supporting this task.”