IGA stresses need for government to recognise the challenges faced by automotive industry

Letter calls for a tailored approach to the challenges faced by the sector

Female mechanic
Photo: Bigstock

In response to the letter sent by the Independent Garage Association (IGA) to the Chancellor regarding apprenticeships in the automotive industry, MP Robert Halfron, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships, and Higher Education, addressed the concerns raised by the IGA.

While appreciating the response, the IGA emphasises the need for a more focused approach that considers the unique challenges faced by the automotive industry.

In a letter to the IGA, MP Robert Halfron expressed gratitude for the association’s continued support for apprenticeships and skills development. They highlighted the government’s commitment to increasing investment in the apprenticeship program in England, aiming to offer more high-quality apprenticeship opportunities across the country.

The IGA’s letter, sent to the Chancellor in advance of the Spring Budget, highlighted the urgency of the message, citing a 39 percent decrease in new Level 2 and 3 Light Vehicle apprenticeship registrations since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2017, emphasising the importance of government action to address underfunding of automotive apprenticeship training.

While the response addressed various aspects, including the utilisation of the apprenticeship levy and funding for apprenticeship standards, the IGA stresses the importance of aligning policies and initiatives with the automotive sector.

Stuart James, chief executive of the IGA, said: “We appreciate MP Robert Halfron’s response, yet we note that there is limited reference to the automotive sector in the letter. The automotive industry plays a vital role in the economy, and it is crucial that policies and initiatives regarding apprenticeships consider its unique challenges and opportunities.

“The letter predominantly focuses on the general principles of apprenticeships, and we urge for a more tailored approach to the challenges faced by the automotive sector. It is paramount that the government recognises the urgency of our message and brings about measures to apprenticeship funding to ensure the future of our industry.”

The IGA will continue its dialogue with policymakers to ensure that the concerns and priorities of the automotive sector are addressed in future discussions regarding apprenticeships and skills development.

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