IGA applauds Prime Minister’s initiative to boost apprenticeships

The PM has also pledged support for small businesses

IGA applauds Prime Minister’s initiative to boost apprenticeships
Photo: Xtrac

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has welcomed the recent announcement from the Prime Minister’s Office unveiling a comprehensive reform package aimed at strengthening small businesses across the UK.

The IGA notes with satisfaction that concerns previously expressed to MP Robert Halfron, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships, and Higher Education, have been addressed in the recent announcement and commends the government’s commitment to fostering apprenticeships and reducing regulatory burdens, recognising the significant positive impact these measures will have on the automotive sector.

Stuart James, chief executive of the IGA, expressed appreciation, saying: “We applaud the Prime Minister’s proactive approach to supporting small businesses and enhancing apprenticeship opportunities. We are very pleased that the government have listened to the feedback This initiative demonstrates a clear understanding of the vital role that small businesses, including independent garages, play in driving economic growth and fostering innovation.”

The pledge of a £60 million investment to facilitate up to 20,000 additional apprenticeships, coupled with the commitment to fully fund apprenticeships in small businesses, represents a significant boost for the automotive industry. By providing financial support for apprenticeship training, the government is empowering small businesses to cultivate a skilled workforce, ensuring the sustainability and competitiveness of the sector.

Moreover, the government’s initiative to slash unnecessary regulatory burdens through Brexit freedoms is a welcome development for small businesses nationwide. Simplifying reporting requirements and reducing administrative red tape will enable independent garages to operate more efficiently, allowing them to focus on delivering exceptional services to their customers.

James added: “These reforms underscore the government’s dedication to fostering a thriving business environment where small enterprises can flourish. We commend the government for its proactive stance in addressing the needs of small businesses, and we look forward to collaborating closely to ensure the continued success of the automotive sector.”

As the government continues to roll out its reform agenda, the IGA remains committed to working collaboratively with policymakers and industry stakeholders to ensure that the needs of independent garages are effectively represented and supported.

Today (18 March), the Prime Minister visited the Thatcham headquarters of the motor sport transmission and mechatronics company Xtrac.

Commenting on his visit, Rishi Sunak said: “It was great to meet the team at Xtrac today and talk about their world-class apprenticeship schemes.

“Xtrac is a West Berkshire success story. It’s a local Thatcham business that’s now at the heart of Formula 1, Indycar, and NASCAR successes all over the world.  It’s also a shining example of apprenticeship success in manufacture and advanced engineering.”

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