IGA News

Major factors affecting the independent sector: Shortage of skilled technicians

Major factors affecting the independent sector: Shortage of skilled technicians

31 May 2019

The IGA is releasing a series of bulletin articles detailing factors affecting the independent motor industry in today’s modern age. This time, we’re discussing how the lack of skilled testers is affecting the industry.

It has been common knowledge for many years that new entrants at grass roots level of our industry have been very thin on the ground. This is the result of an array of issues, from a seemingly ever-changing process around funding apprentice training, the continued push of young teenagers into higher education, the media portrayal of our sector and the lack of understanding by the public at large of the complexity, sophistication and social significance of the motor car.

The modern motor vehicle as we know it, is likely to be around for several more generations still to come and we are already seeing capacity gaps in our technician workforce.

Of the 327,600 intermediate and advanced apprenticeship registered in academic year 2017/18, 11,800 (3.6%) were registered on automotive qualifications, with 2,663 of these being registered on the new Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Level 3 Standard.

Perhaps now is the time to consider alternative recruitment options and move away from the, traditional ‘Young’ apprentice model to recruiting the more mature apprentice.

Almost half of all apprentices registered in academic year 2016/17 were over 25, include those apprentices over the age of 19 and this figure rises to 75%. Indicating that the traditional model of the 16 to 19-year-old apprentices is shifting, however, when we look at the apprentices over 25 registered on the Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Standard this drops significantly to 90 or 3.38%.

With the high technology content of modern vehicles, the potential target market place for Automotive apprentices should, perhaps, be the ‘A’ level students that are disenfranchised with the higher education treadmill, or the career change market place who bring with them more life skills.

If you have any further questions, or need guidance on this topic, please call the direct member helpline or 0845 305 4230.