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IMI encourages automotive businesses to support National Apprenticeship Week

The third annual National Apprenticeship Week will take place from Monday 1 February to Friday 5 February 2010.   The week, which is organised by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), will celebrate the talents and skills of apprentices and recognise the essential role that Apprenticeships are playing in today's business.

Apprenticeships are the proven way for businesses to train their workforce and can make an organisation more effective, productive and competitive by addressing skills gaps directly, even in uncertain economic times.

With over 11,000 young people beginning an automotive apprenticeship in 2008/9, the IMI recently highlighted the benefits of apprenticeships in our sector and is encouraging employers to look at the apprenticeship as a means of investing in long term skills development.

The research carried out on behalf of the IMI by BMG showed that of the apprentices interviewed, 76% said it was a positive experience and in addition, knowing what they know now, three quarters of those surveyed would do an apprenticeship again.  Employers felt that apprenticeships gave them better skilled staff, improved their business image and improved profitability.  At least 84% think that the qualifications apprentices achieved on the apprenticeship programme are very valuable to their business and that they were relevant to the automotive industry.

Apprenticeship Week 2010 is the chance for employers to share the many benefits that Apprenticeships are delivering on a daily basis for their businesses and show how they are crucial for providing employers with the skills they need to succeed.

Throughout the week a variety of national and regional activities will take place across all industry sectors with each day having a different focus. Following the success of Apprenticeship Week 2009, activities this year will include employer events, job swaps, breakfast briefings and apprentice challenges.  For example North Nottinghamshire College in Worksop is running and Apprenticeship Open Day on Wednesday 3 February promoting a variety of apprenticeship routes to young people including those they offer in motor vehicle repair.

The National Apprenticeship Service has also recently announced that it will provide up to 5,000 Apprenticeship Grants for Employers of 16 and 17 year olds in England with a value of £2,500 to encourage employers to take on unemployed 16-17 year olds as apprentices.

To apply for this grant, employers are encouraged to call the National Apprenticeship Service on 08000 150 600 or complete the on-line enquiry form.  Further information can be found here: www.apprenticeships.org.uk/Employers/AGE16and17.aspx

The website - www.apprenticeships.org.uk - is a source of invaluable information about Apprenticeships if you want to find out more.  Let's work together to make Apprenticeship Week 2010 a week to remember and together prepare the workforce with the skills it needs for success.

Employers interested in learning more about automotive apprenticeships for their business are invited to contact the Careers Team at the IMI for further information on careers@motor.org.uk or call 01992 511521.


For further media information please contact:
Simon Bennett, PR Executive
Tel: 01992 511521/07876 251980
Email: simonb@motor.org.uk


Notes to Editors:

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI)
The IMI is the professional association for individuals working in the motor industry and the Sector Skills Council for the automotive retail sector. It is also the governing body for the Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) scheme, which has more than 20,000 registered technicians.

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)
NAS was launched in April 2009 and reports to the Departments for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). The NAS is responsible for the national delivery of targets and co-ordination of funding for Apprenticeship places. Its aim is to bring about significant growth in the number of employers offering Apprenticeships by working to overcome barriers to growth and promoting the value of Apprenticeships to employers, learners and the country as a whole.