James Lett, technical expert at Autodata, asks how the industry can encourage more people to enter the sphere.
As National Apprenticeship Week comes around again, we recognise that the UK’s trade industry continues to be facing a labour shortage issue. This is very true within the automotive sector, where it’s predicted we’ll experience a shortfall of 160,000 employees by 2031 resulting from an ageing population, a discount in migration and plenty of people leaving the career all together.
This shortage of ambitious people doing exertions with their hands begs the query: How can we encourage more people to enter the sphere? And keep them there?
This is very true for the younger generation. We ought to be inspiring them to explore opportunities to tackle vocational work, changing the present narrative that a successful profession only comes from attending university and dealing at a desk.
Encouraging apprenticeship schemes
As we all know, jobs throughout the expert trades play an important role in maintaining a well-functioning society, and the apprenticeship schemes into them narrow socioeconomic disparities and fuel social mobility.
There is a slight misconception that apprenticeship schemes are low paying. Nevertheless, a recent study revealed that the typical salary for an apprentice technician’s salary stands at upwards of £26,000 per 12 months, with the potential to earn over £100,000 once accomplished. That shouldn’t be sniffed at.
The incredible news is that efforts to draw apprentices to the automotive industry have intensified, resulting in a big increase in job postings. Promoting for apprentices has surged since 2020, with job postings for all automotive occupations reaching record highs in January 2023, in response to the IMI.
Furthermore, The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has urged Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to introduce latest funding for apprenticeships in his Spring Budget, as numbers have plummeted because the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in 2017, leading to a 39% decrease in latest Level 2 & 3 Light Vehicle apprenticeship registrations.
Yes, university degrees act as a pathway to many careers. But, they aren’t the one option. It’s essential, especially for young people, to contemplate all their options before determining their future profession paths, and the industry must be encouraging that.
A brand new style of automotive technician job
With increasing demand for EV repairs and tasks involving software updates and automobile upgrades, the best way we approach work within the automotive field is evolving. To preserve the longer term of the industry, we’d like to recognise that these advancements could make this job more enticing for tech-savvy people wanting a job that doesn’t involve a desk.
Being an automotive technician isn’t any longer solely about tightening bolts (although this may never stop being essential!). Automation and robotics are enhancing efficiency, safety, and precision within the industry. These transformations need a fresh set of skills—ones that mix technical expertise with creative problem-solving.
Getting young people enthusiastic about these developments and opportunities is the important thing to inspiring a brand new generation of pros within the automotive domain. This is very essential for today’s generation of faculty leavers who’ve grown up in a digital world and need to work in a job that enables them to further immerse themselves in it.
So, what must be done?
Industry-wide support for training technicians is very essential because the automotive industry changes to incorporate more non-traditional cars corresponding to EVs. One in all the largest challenges we’re seeing today being the widening skills gap in repairing these vehicles.
The explanations behind this gap are complex. Technicians aren’t getting the specialist training needed, not because to their very own shortcomings, but due to underlying challenges faced by independent workshops. These challenges include the fee of tools, lack of governmental support for training funding, and the shortage of time for training resulting from fewer technicians entering the industry.
Although workshop software tools can enhance efficiency, the unanimous agreement is evident: there should be more available training for each latest and experienced technicians. Nurturing apprenticeship programmes are one surefire strategy to support the longer term of automotive and fulfil these current skills gaps, but more must be done.
This responsibility doesn’t rest solely on the workshops; a collective effort is required to handle these growing skills gaps. The federal government must do more to cultivate a brand new generation of technicians and to equip garages to fulfill these evolving demands. We cannot sit quiet while concrete support for vocational skills is being left behind.
James Lett is a technical expert at Autodata, a platform that gives mechanics with the technical and real time information needed to effectively work on over 40,000 vehicles.
This Article First Appeared At www.am-online.com