Autotech Academy has unveiled a survey report which shines a spotlight on the aspirations, concerns, and expectations of young vehicle technicians aged 16-24.
The results of the survey, conducted between June and August 2023, reportedly indicate the industry urgently needs to prioritise the next generation of automotive talent and highlight the pressing need for a more far-sighted approach.
For years, the automotive industry has grappled with skills shortages and the challenge of attracting fresh talent. In fact, the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) says there are 160,000 vacancies in the sector that need filling by 2031. Autotech Academy’s ‘Automotive Future Survey Report’ presents a stark view of the situation. The survey, which focused on respondents across 90 colleges in the UK, found around 42% lack confidence in securing a well-paid job within the industry after completing their automotive course.
The survey also revealed an industry brimming with ambition, with two thirds of respondents citing their unwavering passion for all things automotive as the primary reason for choosing this career path. Over 15% reported they prefer the hands-on nature of the automotive industry, emphasising the value of practical skills.
Encouragingly, almost ALL respondents (95%) expressed their desire to carve out a career in the automotive industry.
The drive for career satisfaction
It was also noted that young technicians aren’t simply seeking employment, they’re searching for a fulfilling career. Nearly 90% of them are confident that they will find enjoyment in their chosen profession in the automotive industry.
Interestingly, these aspiring vehicle technicians prioritise job enjoyment above all else when considering employment opportunities, giving it an average rating of 4.97 out of 5.
Urgent industry action required
However, there’s a stark discrepancy between enthusiasm and confidence in the industry’s ability to provide well-paid jobs.
Two thirds of respondents were confident they will find employment in the motor industry. But when it comes to finding a well-paid job in the sector, confidence slips by almost 9%. In an era where the automotive sector faces a severe skills shortage, this lack of confidence in competitive salaries is said to be a serious concern.
Creating a robust talent pool
The UK’s motor industry simply cannot afford to lose these talented individuals, and it is therefore imperative to find ways to develop more inclusive and accessible employment practices in the sector. By doing so, the industry can create a more robust and competitive talent pool, to the benefit of everyone involved.
Simon King, Interim CEO of Autotech Group, commented: “Autotech Academy’s ‘Automotive Future Survey Report’ is a call to action. It highlights the passion, ambition, and potential of the next generation of vehicle technicians and is a reminder that the automotive industry has much to offer in terms of innovation and opportunity.
“Yet, it is essential to continue promoting and supporting the sector to ensure a strong and sustainable future for both the industry and the skilled professionals dedicated to it. By addressing these issues head-on, we can nurture the young talent that will help drive the automotive industry forward and ensure that its future is stable.”