18 May 2024
The voice of the independent garage sector

IMI report highlights record vacancy rate in automotive sector

Staff vacancies in the automotive sector have continued to grow just as they have fallen in other industries, the latest IMI Automotive Labour Market Briefing has shown.

The current vacancy rate for motor trades is 5.1 – a 20 year high and the highest rate on record. The most extreme example are vehicle paint technician roles, where vacancy rates are 95% higher than in 2021. Salaries were also up by 9.6% in the six months to March, and 19% over three years.Job postings have swelled by 55% in the past six months and are more than double what was seen in 2021.

IMI CEO Steve Nash said: “Vacancy rates increased across all industries after the pandemic, but the motor industry hasn’t bounced back like most other sectors.In fact, while other parts of the UK economy saw vacancies fall as posts were filled, the motor industry vacancy rate has continued to rise, underlining the systemic problem we face in that perceptions of the sector as a good career destination are not positive. Only the hospitality sector has a higher vacancy rate which highlights the immense difficulties currently faced by businesses in the automotive sector.”

Steve added: “It is encouraging to see employers focusing on apprenticeships – it’s absolutely right to get people interested in automotive from the start of their careers. We also need to appeal to people who are thinking of changing career. And we need to address the misperceptions about the opportunities that exist as automotive technology evolves.”