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The Development and Research on Innovative Vocational Educational Skills project (DRIVES) is an EU-funded response to develop an Automotive Sector Skills Alliance, with the aim of sharing approaches to skills development in the sector across the EU, and ultimately delivering human capital solutions to SMEs in the supply chain.

All levels of the value chain will be covered, including vehicle production, automotive suppliers, automotive sales and aftermarket services. Started in January 2018, the project will run until December 2021 and is funded by the Erasmus+ Sector Skills Alliances Programme with a budget of €3,987,590. 

Semta is representing the UK amongst 24 stakeholders from 11 partner countries. This partnership enables Semta’s experts to lead and engage in open debates, brainstorming and problem solving on the evolution of skills in the automotive sector. Working at an EU level, rather than just national, we bring extensive expertise to the table in contributing to this shared approach in improving the delivery of skills in the EU’s automotive sector. 

Together with the other EU partners, Semta will be working to: 

  • Map and assess the skills gaps and future skills needed in the automotive sector in the coming decade, as well as to develop and maintain an Automotive Skills Strategic Roadmap.
  • Improve existing and proven skills frameworks across the EU.
  • Enable mutual recognition of awards between formal and informal education schemes.
  • Implement a common European automotive skills umbrella through the integration of existing skills frameworks.
  • Create an effective EU-wide apprenticeship marketplace.

So far in the project, we have contributed to the capture of market intelligence via the creation and dissemination of surveys to analyse current skills gaps and future skills needs in the automotive sector. A range of sector stakeholders has been engaged in the activity and we are now shaping a strong understanding of the sector skills needs on which to base our future development activity.

There are still two and a half more years to go on this project, but Semta is proud to have already accomplished detailed work around finding key and feature job roles for the sector, and further defining these roles in preparation for the development of training packages. Semta has also played a leading role in driving the project’s apprenticeship strand.  

Moving forward into the second half of the project, the expectations are to continue to develop a shared roadmap and build solutions to meet the current and future EU automotive sector skills needs.


‘The DRIVES project provides an EU platform for Semta to share its technical expertise whilst learning about best practice from European partners in the development of impactful training programmes for the automotive sector. It ensures that Semta fills a leading strategic role in the European training ‘ecosystem’ as we develop programmes that reflect employers’ current and future skills needs.’
John Mountford
DRIVES project lead, Semta

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