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IMI applauds White Paper's focus on developing vocational skills

"The launch of the Government’s White Paper on 14-19 Education and Skills represents a red letter day for learning and skills development within the retail motor sector," said Sarah Sillars, IMI Chief Executive.

One of four major "pillars" of the new White Paper is a focus on vocational opportunities for pupils from the age of 14, which give clear routes to higher education and/or employment. This has been welcomed by the IMI, the automotive sector's leading qualifications awarding body, whose own Pre-Apprenticeship programme for 14-16 year olds, launched in 2003, has proved extremely popular, with nearly 2,000 students registered at over 70 centres nation-wide. Tony Jardine, Formula 1 TV expert, has recently given his personal support to the IMI initiative.

The IMI programme links schools with colleges of further education and independent training providers specialising in automotive training, which enables students to get a taste of industry and a vocational qualification to complement their academic studies. Having achieved the Level 1 Pre-Apprenticeship, students can then ‘fast track’ to an apprenticeship in motor vehicle maintenance and repair.

Continued Sarah Sillars:

"By offering a choice of clear learning progression from the age of 14, the Government’s commitment to vocational education is extremely positive for the automotive sector. It will help in the recruitment and retention of high calibre, career-driven young people, as the IMI’s Pre-Apprenticeship qualification has already shown, which has the involvement of many manufacturers who are keen to develop their skills base."

"Considering the pace at which new vehicle technology is advancing and indeed how the retail environment is constantly evolving, this White Paper will certainly assist the industry’s efforts in improving its public profile and engaging young people to choose the retail motor sector as a career."