Election result could determine prospect for vehicle technician licensing05 May 2015

Prospects for licensing vehicle technicians could vary significantly, based on the result of Thursday’s general election, according to the IMI (Institute of the Motor Industry).

Steve Nash, CEO, has written to party leaders, explaining that anyone can work on a car without qualification or training in the UK.

Their responses suggest that a Labour government would support the introduction of licensing. Ed Miliband stated: "We will give the industry the tools you say you need to tackle free-riding employers who do not train, such the powers to set levies and licences to practice – enabling employers to drive up standards and build stronger training routes within the sector. We hope to work with the IMI on this agenda in government."

Conservative leader David Cameron said: "We will certainly consider your suggestion about licensing for automotive technicians, although I hope you will appreciate that any policies would need to support our principles of deregulation and reducing industry costs."

Responses were also received from UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who said he would be open to dialogue on the issue, and Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.

Transport select committee member and Conservative MP Karl McCartney confirmed he would support the IMI's campaign.

Their replies, says Steve Nash, show that technician licensing faced very different prospects after the 7 May election.

However, he adds: "What we can say is that the level of political response on licensing is extremely encouraging and shows how far we have come raising the profile of issues facing the vehicle servicing sector within parliament.

"The situation we find ourselves in is unsustainable. Businesses who invest in training cannot continue to compete with those who don't, in the face of rapid technological advances.

"This makes the licensing of skilled technicians more important than ever before, both for safety of road users and the protection of businesses."

Laura Cork

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