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Job stability vital for young auto industry recruits, says Drive My Career

Young technician at work on a car

Job stability has been cited as the overwhelming factor for young recruits considering joining the automotive industry, according to Drive My Career.

Nearly 90% of 200 16-24 year-olds that were surveyed during lockdown said job stability is important of very important to them.

Drive My Career is the employment initiative launched by the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) in 2018.

The majority of respondents worked in retail (not including automotive) and hospitality, and 37.1% said they do not feel secure in their current job.

Answering the question ‘What employee perks are most important to you?’, most respondents selected: health care (54.5%), annual leave (53.5%) and pension (42.1%).

Interestingly, respondents were also asked whether they would prefer to work for a small/medium or a big business and more than one in two said they had no preference (51%).

Of the remainder, 35.6% selected the former option while 13.4% would prefer larger organisations.

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) launched a free learning resource to automotive sector apprentices during lockdown to ensure they continue learning even when furloughed.

New data suggests there could be a skills challenge post-COVID-19 as more than half of apprentices in the industry had been furloughed and 83% say they were unable to continue study in the same way as before the lockdown.

The IMI has also estimated may have been as many as 7,000 redundancies in the UK automotive industry already as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Arnold Clark's apprenticeship programme was set back a year due to social distancing rules.

Sue Robinson, NFDA director, said: “In the current climate, it is unsurprising that job stability is very important to the majority of young people who are currently looking to start their professional career or find themselves at early stages of it.

“NFDA and Drive My Career are in constant communication with their members and, despite the significant challenges facing dealers due to over two months of business closure, it is extremely positive that dealer groups are prioritising their people and doing every possible effort to minimise job losses.”

Robinson said that going forward, NFDA will continue to assist dealers with the most pressing HR and employment issues.

She said Drive My Career will also continue to work to improve the perception of the sector and to promote diversity and inclusion.

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