Surplus funding should directed as a matter of urgency in to training technicians before garages start going out of business, according to the Independent Garage Association (IGA).
It has written to the Chancellor, emphasising the need for new entrants into the independent automotive sector in advance of the Spring Budget.
Since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2017, it noted that apprenticeship numbers have plummeted, made worse by chronic underfunding of apprenticeship training.
Changes to the apprentice levy have resulted in the industry experiencing a 39% decrease in new Level 2 & 3 Light Vehicle apprenticeship registrations.
The IGA has proposed financial incentives for individuals aged 19 and above who are currently not employed, in education, or undergoing training through unused Levy funds to boost trainee earnings in an effort to attract fresh talent to the sector.
Stuart James, chief executive of the IGA, said: “It is widely recognised that there is a shortfall of suitably skilled professionals within the automotive sector, and we have urged the Chancellor to take appropriate action to halt the decline. This is a great opportunity for the government to provide help and to take steps to fill the skills gap in the automotive sector.
James continued: “It is paramount that the government recognises the urgency of our message and bring about measures to apprenticeship funding to ensure the future of our industry.”