The aging population, a decrease in the number of immigrants, and the green agenda are creating the conditions for the biggest deficit in history of qualified workers in the automotive sector. This is the conclusion of a report by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), a British organization dedicated to the training of automotive professionals. In the United Kingdom alone, a deficit of more than 160.000 qualified workers is expected in 2031, 16% of them being repair and maintenance technicians.
On top of the social, demographic and economic context, the sector also faces the expected impact that the electrification of automobiles will have on the activity of sales and repair companies. According to Steve Nash, CEO at IMI: “The industry faces the biggest skill challenge of the last two decades. We have pushed the government, the automotive industry and the educational sector, for them to invest in order to handle the lack of qualified technicians for electric vehicles, and most of these sectors have accepted the challenge. However, our latest report reveals that the concern of a lack of skilled workers for electric vehicles is only the tip of the iceberg. The aging population contributes significantly to the dilemma. Many of our older workers will retire in the upcoming years and few young workers are joining the labor force. Without a doubt, something has to be done to attract young blood to the automotive sector in the United Kingdom”.
Why doesn’t the automotive sector attract young talent? According to a survey conducted by IMI amongst 1.600 school age kids and youth across all of the United Kingdom, barely 16% of these future professionals consider a career in the automotive sector. In addition to the misconceptions about the industry, the survey states that there is a lack of awareness of the professional careers in the sector and doubts about the expected salaries that they offer.