It’s a well-known fact that the British car industry has a skills shortage, and that despite being a major employer in this country it has struggled to train up talent to meet the opportunities for expansion.

The reasons have long been the source of soul-searching within the car industry. It’s true that some of the biggest brains get lured by the biggest salaries in banking, with which the car industry cannot compete, and it’s also true that the car industry’s reputation – unjustifiably, especially in this era of electrification and autonomy – still lags somewhere in the industrial wasteland of the 1960s.

But while those debates rage on, it is interesting to read some of statistics from website iwantobea – fast becoming the go-to destination for information on automotive apprenticeships – which for the first time has corrolated the number of 16-24 year-olds not in education, employment or training (known as NEETs) and the number of workplaces employing apprentices in the last three months.

In parts, the revelations are stark: the ratio of NEETS to apprenticeships in the south west and north west of England is around 2:1, in London that figure is more than 4:1, and in the Midlands and east around 2.8 to 1.