Steve Nash, Institute of the Motor Industry

Steve Nash, Institute of the Motor Industry

Take the wheel with an apprenticeship

Exceptional training and exciting careers available for aspiring apprentices, says the Institute of the Motor Industry CEO Steve Nash

Having spent my entire working life in the motor industry, I have long been an advocate and supporter of apprenticeships. I discovered first-hand how much value there is in investing in and growing your own talent when I ran a large and busy BMW operation in London in the mid-1980s.

On joining the manufacturer, BMW (UK), in 1986, I became involved in setting up a national apprentice scheme that has since employed and trained well over 5000 young people for careers in a fast-moving and exciting business.

Throughout my long career at BMW, including a 15-year term as a board director, I always retained a responsibility for training and oversaw the development of the group’s state-of-the-art academy, until my departure in 2012.

Over the years, one of my greatest pleasures was seeing young apprentices graduate and then watching their careers develop, with many going on to achieve extraordinary success – proving that apprenticeships are a fantastic grounding, and just the start for those with drive, enthusiasm and capability.

One young apprentice who I employed directly at the age of 16 ended up working alongside me on the BMW (UK) board and has since gone on to run the BMW Group’s MINI operations in China. At 43 he certainly hasn’t stopped progressing, and he is just one of a great many success stories.

I now run the industry’s professional body, the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), which awards the majority of apprenticeship qualifications in the motor industry, as well as working with the government and the industry to promote the opportunities that young people can pursue in our sector.

I cannot recommend apprenticeships highly enough and the automotive sector has a great many fantastic employers who could offer exceptional training and fantastic, exciting careers.

Steve Nash has worked in the motor industry, on both the retail and manufacturer sides, since graduating in 1977. Steve joined BMW in 1986 and was a director of the company from 1997, including a period as group aftersales director, looking after the Rover and Land Rover brands as well.

Steve was chairman of the IMI for five years, before becoming president in November 2009. In 2012 he joined the IMI as chief executive officer.

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