Skills shortage impacts opportunities to maximise profitability

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The skills shortage in the UK automotive industry is widespread and impacting profitability, according to 56% of those involved in Autotech Recruit’s 2024 survey of 109 professionals.

There will be an increase in vehicle technician vacancies over the next year according to half of respondents. Around 70% identifying recruiting vehicle technicians as one of the most difficult roles to fill and more than 65% stating that sourcing specialist Hybrid/EV trained technicians is a challenge.

James Mackay, md of Autotech Recruit said: “Our survey highlights that the skills shortage within the industry is still prevalent and the impact this is having on businesses, along with plans to address the challenge.

“Encouragingly, there is a growing recognition of the need to invest in salary and training, but it is important to remember that no company can resolve these issues alone.

“Stakeholders from across the industry – including employers, educational providers, recruitment specialists and industry interest organisations need to work cohesively to make a real difference.”

Around 71% plan to recruit for permanent roles while 73% are actively seeking routes to attract young talent through apprenticeships and paid internships.

Although there is a strong focus on permanent recruitment, 49% of respondents suggest that temporary vehicle technician labour is a valuable resourcing tool as general skill shortages drive the usage of contractors.

Furthermore, 16% of respondents, peaks in demand also justify temporary labour. An inability to meet demand was highlighted as a common theme by respondents.

Mackay added: “We have worked to educate the industry on how the use of temporary cover shouldn’t be a reactive measure but built into annual strategies as a way of providing flexibility, allowing businesses to manage absence cover and scale up capacity without the long-term commitment of permanent hires.”

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