Available jobs in the retail motor trade have almost halved in 2009, according to one automotive recruiter.
But recruitment should improve next year as dealers seek to meet 2010 manufacturer-set targets.
Steve Shaw, director of Ingenia Recruitment, has had 157 positions on the company’s books year-to-date, compared to 281 in 2008.
In November it had 26 vacancies and only placed three people. In the same month in 2007, Ingenia had 110 vacancies.
“Things rallied between May and September. We always have a tail-off towards the end of the year and people are starting to get worried again,” Shaw said.
Though he is optimistic about next year, he does have concerns about the end of scrappage, the danger of a mini recession as the economy recovers and the Government’s yet-to-be- announced spending cuts.
He said that when scrappage ends, manufacturers will need incentives in place to push forward sales.
“If the Government spending cuts mean fewer jobs in the public sector, it could cause a lot of people to reign in spending.
“We’ve come out of the depths of recession and there is optimism to recruit people – I think we should get some semblance of reality back next year,” Shaw added.
By this time next year, Shaw hopes to double the number of vacancies from 26 in November to around 50.
“The general feeling in the motor industry is that companies may have cut too deep when the recession hit and will be looking to hire come the turn of the year.”
However, dealers on AM’s Forum are still sceptical about an upturn.
One dealer said: “Dealers’ composites are showing profit growth year on year but drilling down a bit shows these results were driven by both reduced headcount and lower interest costs.
“Some overzealous manufacturers have seen this as an opportunity to reduce their dealers’ ability to make decent returns in 2010 and beyond so caution is the key word for next year.”
He added: “Do not be surprised if further redundancies are forthcoming especially those dealers heavily reliant on scrappage.”