CEO Update

Automotive can lead Britain’s recruitment drive

12 April 2024 #CEO Update

The UK automotive sector is constantly striving to be internationally competitive to attract investment and the best skilled people to make success happen. With global competition more fierce than ever as businesses seek a commercial edge, recruitment strategies are increasingly important. Skills policy reform such as that to the Apprenticeship Levy last month are vital to unlocking a more specialised and dynamic skills sector, but the most important changes begin with businesses themselves – to recruit, train and retain the very best talent.

SMMT has long been on that journey and this week we were pleased to announce our “gold” accreditation from Investors in People, the global benchmark for workplace standards, practices and leadership. The gold standard, given to some one in five organisations seeking accreditation, follows our bronze and silver accreditations since 2015 and reflects a long term commitment to our people as our organisation’s greatest asset. Investing in the workforce to guarantee the best practices and opportunities – be it for recruitment, career development, diversity, employee recognition and retention – must be at the top of the priority list for all businesses serious about growth.

Testament to the delicate balance of business success in today’s industry, an outward look to international growth is equally important. Free and fair trade agreements are essential for creating the right conditions for Britain to be competitive but businesses can also be proactive in forming mutually beneficial partnerships in established and emerging markets. SMMT will advance that objective with two UK overseas pavilions this Spring, at Future Mobility Asia, Bangkok and Automechanika Ho Chi Minh City. While the Thailand delegation is now full, there are limited places for members to join our exhibition in Vietnam, providing attractive business opportunities in what is a fast-emerging auto market and production location in South East Asia. For more information, contact SMMT’s International team here.

Finally, back in the UK, SMMT’s 16th International Automotive Summit in June will bring together the best minds to discuss the key issues facing our industry and how we can overcome them – from net zero and self-driving vehicles to global competitiveness and technological innovation. We’re pleased to announce Chris Giles, Economics Editor at the Financial Times, will be back by popular demand to provide his latest global and domestic economic outlook and an advanced analysis of the auto sector. As one of the most high-profile events in the industry calendar, it’s an event not to be missed and you can book your ticket here.

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