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EU expansion could solve skills shortage claim

The recent expansion of the European Union could help to solve the skills crisis in the body repair industry, believes repairer network ABS.

Agents for repairer network ABS are currently interviewing skilled repair technicians from 10 of the new countries recently added to the EU on May 1, and as many as 100 could soon be at work in the UK.

Alan Hodgkinson, ABS chief executive, says: “The repair industry in the UK has been suffering from a skills shortage for years and there is no end in sight. However, the arrival of skilled individuals from the new EU countries does offer one possible way of alleviating this problem.

“Of course, it is too early to tell how large their impact may be but we certainly have a reasonable number of ABS repairers who are very interested in taking on skilled people from these countries. Our agent is currently undertaking interviews in the Czech Republic and will soon be at work in Poland.

“There are some hurdles to overcome in terms of language and understanding the qualifications that they hold but much of the work we have seen so far has been of a high standard.”

The 10 countries that have joined the EU are Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus and Malta.

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