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NBRA responds to government's industrial strategy green paper

NBRA 19/04/2017

The NBRA has published its response to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Green Paper, titled “Building our Industrial Strategy”.

Jason Moseley, Director, NBRA commented, “it is vitally important that the voice of body shops is heard at government level. This Green Paper touches on some key areas affecting Body shop SMEs and our role as a trade association to make ministers aware of the effects to our sector and ultimately consumers.”

The government document detailed ten ‘pillars’ that had been identified in order to “improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country”.

Amongst the ten ‘pillars’, the Green Paper outlined the government’s plans to develop skills by introduce a new system of technical education, focusing on science, technology, engineering and maths skills. NBRA highlighted the shortage of skilled technicians working for body repairers currently, stressing the safety implications of not having enough skilled workers capable of repairing modern vehicles effectively. NBRA put forward the argument for the provision of specific apprenticeships designed for prospective vehicle technicians, as well as more accessible re-training options for existing technicians.

In addition, the government reaffirmed its commitment to promoting electric vehicle technology. NBRA advised the government to recognise the importance of implementing the correct infrastructure to meet the demands of an increasing electric vehicle market, as well as providing incentives for body repairs businesses to reduce their own emissions.

Moseley continued “the promotion of electric vehicles is fine, but let’s ensure government is aware of the need for investment in safe and competitive repair infrastructure.”

NBRA also used the Green Paper response to raise the issue of late payments, encouraging the government to give sufficient powers to the incoming Small Business Commissioner to hold large businesses to account over payment practices.

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About the RMI

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.