28 Feb 2024

Survey: Workshop and technical roles “hardest positions to fill” as skills crisis deepens

90% of automotive business owners and managers said that since the pandemic, workshop and technical roles are the hardest positions to fill, with more than 80% saying recruitment overall has become increasingly difficult according to a new survey from Autotech Recruit.

On EVs, 4% of respondents had technicians on staff trained to Level 2 electric/hybrid vehicle standard, but almost a third had no technicians with any electric vehicle training. Looking at demographics, more than 65% employed technicians over 30, but just one in five, could say most of their staff was under 29. Despite this, over 61% said they had plans to take on apprentices. On how they are looking to retain staff, 52% said they offer a performance related bonus with a third offering flexible working hours, along with a range of other benefits. Over 75% framed training and professional development as a benefit.

Commenting on the survey, Simon King, MD of Autotech Group, observed: “The skills shortage within the automotive industry is certainly not a new problem. It’s a direct consequence of years of under-investment in training and recruiting younger generations. However, Brexit and the pandemic has exacerbated the issue, which is clearly illustrated within the results of our survey. The motor industry has the sixth highest vacancy rate of all UK industry sectors. Particularly concerning is the fact that almost all of those surveyed reported that workshop and technical roles are the hardest positions to fill. The situation is dire and requires immediate action.”

He continued: “Training needs to be an immediate priority for the aftermarket to meet not only the zero-emission future, but growing consumer demand, particularly as electric vehicles come out of their manufacturer warranty.”

Simon added: “To tackle existing staff shortages, respondents expect to use a combination of resource solutions, with seven in 10 planning to recruit full time employees. While permanent recruitment is still at the forefront, in line with other industry sectors there is a growing reliance on temporary technical staff amongst automotive employers, with a fifth of employers planning to use skilled freelance technicians and MOT testers to fill skills gaps in their businesses.”

For more information, visit: https://autotechrecruit.co.uk/a-guide-to-overcoming-automotive-talent-shortages/