We are facing an acute shortage of skilled automotive technicians in the UK at present. This shortage has been growing over the past few years as more and more qualified technicians reach retirement age and there are not enough new professionals to take their place. This lack of fresh blood can be attributed to various factors…
For many baby boomers, tinkering under the bonnet was a favourite pastime and lead to a passion for working with cars but the millennial generation have forgone this hobby in favour of iPads and PlayStations. There has been a decrease in the number of colleges offering auto-repair courses due to this lack of interest, as well as the cost of the high-tech equipment that is now required. Cars are now far more complex than they used to be (with advances being made at an eye-watering rate) and their repair therefore requires a far greater level of technical expertise.
So what can be done? Well firstly, bright young people entering the employment market need to be made aware that this is a high-tech career that does not require the standard three to five years at university. Instead, they can qualify within two years and start earning good money.
Employers need to make their opportunities attractive by offering a structured training path to further qualifications. If they don’t, not only will they not get the best new talent, they will also risk losing existing employees who will look elsewhere for this progression.
Taking this shortage into account, don’t wait for technicians to leave before sourcing new ones. The cost of losing a skilled technician is higher than for most other positions in a dealership due to the loss of that individual’s trade expertise. The longer you are a technician down, the more money you will lose. It therefore pays to always be on the lookout for experienced professionals and to take them on before someone else does!