As if the recent interest rate rise and drop in new car registrations wasn’t bad enough, it turns out that there is now a major shortfall on the horizon for apprentice motor mechanics. Motor industry research shows there could be a shortage of 16,000 skilled motor technicians, who are needed to ensure that the workforce remains sufficiently qualified to handle all the rapidly evolving technology in new cars.
Often more complex than that found in a fighter jet, advanced systems such as Head-up Display, fibre optics, controlled area networks, hybrid fuel, adaptive cruise control, drive and brake-by-wire are increasingly standard on cars, demanding extreme proficiency of technicians in electronics and diagnostics.
Launched at the recent British International Motor Show by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) was a fresh campaign to encourage talented youngsters to train as apprentices in the retail motor industry.
With a turnover of more than £70 billion per year and employing some 600,000 people, the UK motor industry is responsible for 2% of GDP. Training apprentices for the future is shaping up to be a major issue.
Using the theme “proud to be professional”, the IMI’s campaign will increase the industry’s efforts to attract high calibre students to the benefits of an apprenticeship as a credible and rewarding alternative to further education.
The good news is that 60% of franchised dealers and 30% of independent garages intend to take on more apprentices in the next 12 months; good news for the industry and good news for us the next time a warning light appears on the dash reporting an ECU fault!