2019 expected to be “employee’s market”, experts warn garage owners

Industry experiencing "skills crunch" as number of young techs entering the trade is fewer than those retiring

2019 expected to be “employee’s market”, experts warn garage owners
Image: Bigstock.

Norwich-based automotive recruitment specialist Progress Recruitment says 2019 looks set to be an “employee’s market”.

Laura Rycroft, managing director at Progress Recruitment, said: “When I began my recruitment career in 2009, 22 dealerships in my region closed and dealers had people queuing at the doors with their CVs looking for work.

“But now the tables have turned.

“Fully qualified vehicle technicians are now in great demand.”

A recent survey by Progress Recruitment, conducted in October 2018 found 96 per cent of garages agreed that skilled technicians were ‘very important’ or ‘vital’ but just two per cent found recruitment ‘very easy’.

Almost half indicated they had at times been unable to recruit the people they needed.

With fewer young technicians entering the trade than there are retiring, accompanied by the escalation of new vehicle technology, the industry is experiencing a ‘skills crunch’.

Progress Recruitment themselves are working to address the issue by extending the reach of its MOT Tester training courses, developed in partnership with the Independent Garage Association (IGA) to individuals who are looking to self-fund their training to enhance their skills and experience.

Political uncertainties are unlikely to help.

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) believes new immigration laws could exclude current employees and exacerbate the skills shortage in future too.

Ensuring that home-grown automotive talent is sufficiently qualified to help bridge the potential gap has never been more important.

Laura said: “As a specialist agency, Progress Recruitment can help garages find the technical team they need from our extensive candidate database, our talent acquisition channels and our proven screening services, saving busy garages owners time and hassle.”

The time saved by garages on hiring can then be invested back into developing staff retention and development plans for the business.

Of all the candidates placed by Progress in 2018, 59 per cent of the jobs filled were aftersales based and 35 per cent of these positions were technical roles.

The average salary offered increased, as did the additional benefits offered to further entice the candidates.

To find out more about Progress Recruitment, call 01603 717187 or click ‘more details’ below.

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