Professional body aims to celebrate the best in automotive skills – with competition providing route to World Skills Competition

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) is urging employers and FE colleges to nominate their students and apprentices for this year’s IMI Skills Competition, as more evidence of the impact of the pandemic on talent development is seen in the numbers of entries received to date. As Joanna Hollingdale, Careers and Student Membership Manager of the IMI explained, entry levels to the 2021 competition are significantly lower than previous years which she puts down to the impact of COVID-19 on training and apprenticeships.

“Normally by this stage of the competition we would expect to see significant numbers of entrants to the competition.  But this year we think that employers and FE Colleges may not realise the competition is running – and that their students and apprentices can be entered. It’s vital we celebrate the talent that exists in our sector – and which could eventually be showcased in the World Skills Competition later this year.  So we are urging employers and colleges to make their nominations as soon as possible.

“Entry is free – and does not require any face to face interaction in the early stages.  We therefore hope that employers and FE colleges will look at the cohort of students and apprentices who have done such an amazing job in the last year to continue learning and developing their skills. Young people under 25 have been some of the hardest hit in the pandemic for redundancies and furlough, but many have kept learning. This year, perhaps more than ever, the new talent in our sector needs to be celebrated.”

Employers and FE Colleges simply need to complete the nomination form on the IMI website with the consent of their nominees.  There are four streams in which nominees can be entered:

  • Automotive Technology
  • Automotive Body Repair
  • Automotive Refinishing
  • Heavy Vehicle Technology

The deadline for nominations and completion of the initial online quiz is 14th May 2021.

Once the nomination has been completed nominees will be asked to complete a 30 minute multiple choice quiz. Top scorers will be invited to sit an online knowledge test in the National Qualifiers which will take place from 24 May – 16 July 2021. This stage of the competition can be completed anywhere, so there will be no need for any live attendance or travel. The top six competitors in each skill area will then be invited to the practical Live finals in November which is a WorldSkills UK competition (managed by the IMI).

Some of the finalists, if they are age eligible, may have the opportunity to progress on to Team UK for WorldSkills International.

“We believe the IMI Skills Competition is a great opportunity to inspire students and apprentices to excel in automotive light vehicle technology, heavy vehicle, body repair and refinishing” added Joanna Hollingdale. “But they can’t be celebrated without being nominated; it’s vital therefore that their employers and FE Colleges nominate them as soon as possible.”

For more information employers and FE Colleges need to go to