Jardine Motors Group HR director Clare Martin has warned that the issue of automotive skills shortage “will widen” with the increasing demands of technical expertise in dealership workshops.
Martin said that the AM100 group was currently struggling to fill 49 qualified technician vacancies and was being forced to relocate technicians across to help cope with pockets of skills shortages across the UK, stating that the situation was “testament to the demand throughout the sector”.
And in a comment piece penned for AM, Martin has suggested that work to promote apprenticeships must pave the way to growth in the automotive workshops’ workforce.
Martin said: “Despite there being a plethora of opportunities available for apprentices within the motor industry across a host of job functions including technical, customer service and support , the industry is experiencing an apprentice shortage, no more so than when it comes to technicians.
“For example, at Jardine Motors Group, we currently employ 80 apprentice technicians and currently have 49 qualified technician vacancies needing to be fulfilled.
“In fact, we are currently having to relocate technicians across our group to cope with pockets of skills shortages within the UK, which is a testament to the demand throughout the sector.
“With the industry, and indeed automotive innovation, changing at a rapid pace, we anticipate that the shortage of technicians with the necessary skills to meet the demands of this evolving market will widen.
“Technicians entering the industry require a greater level of specialist technical expertise than perhaps their predecessors, meaning there is no better time to take advantage of the career opportunities the sector presents.”
Martin told AM that those within the automotive industry, both at dealership and manufacturer level, recognise the value of skilled technicians to their business, which is why many apprentice schemes within the automotive sector offer “highly attractive packages”.
She said: “Those who join us at Jardine Motors Group not only have the opportunity to develop their skills on premium car brands, including Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, McLaren and Maserati, but will also enjoy a competitive starting salary which will increase year-on-year, guaranteed for six years, plus an attractive bonus scheme.
“Some of our brands also kit their apprentices out with a toolkit worth £10,000 to help them out at the start of their career.
“It’s an exciting time to enter the automotive industry, which is why we must continue to invest in our teams if we want reach our full potential, and why our apprenticeship scheme also breaks the boundaries set out by traditional schemes.
“I would encourage any bright and enthusiastic individuals who want to embark on a fulfilling and rewarding career to look beyond the manufacturers themselves and consider the opportunities that lie in motor retail, which can be equally rewarding.”