Advertised wages up 10% as job shortage hits 24,000

More than 24,000 vacancies still remain across the automotive sector – with some seeing advertised wages increase to entice workers.

Yet, a slight drop since the turn of the year (from 26,000) has been hailed as promising by the Institute of the Motor Industry, which has in the same breath also warned that more still needs to be done as the sector faces a vacancy rate 34% higher than the average across all other industries.

Over the past 12 months, all automotive occupations saw rising numbers of job vacancy postings, peaking at the start of the second quarter of 2023 and then slowly declining. Vehicle technicians, mechanics and electricians are the most sought-after professionals, with postings increasing 32% year-on-year. Postings for apprentices have increased by 55% in the past six months.

The data released as part of the IMI’s latest Automotive Labour Market Briefing, has also revealed that the advertised salaries for tyre, exhaust and windscreen fitters salaries have increased by 9.3% in the past six months.

The IMI has also revealed that, for the first time, English Language made the top ten requested skills list, suggesting employers are looking abroad to fill vacancies.

“We have noticed that management, leadership and sales skills are less frequently requested now than a year ago, with a greater number of vacancies focused on core skills,” said Steve Nash, IMI CEO.

“It could be that this reflects a fall in the number of management roles advertised, but it could also simply be because of an urgency to fill roles that require those core skills. Also reflecting the urgency is the rising number of postings for apprenticeships, as well as increasing salaries.”

He added: “Whilst these are encouraging signs that employers recognise they need to change tactics to attract new talent, there’s no getting away from the fact that not enough people see automotive as an inclusive and exciting career route.”

As a result, the IMI is this week launching its ‘There’s More to Motor’, which aims to focus on breaking myths and misperceptions about working in automotive, therefore enticing more workers – both school leavers, graduates and career changers.

“Our goal with the ‘There’s More to Motor’ campaign is to break down those misperceptions,” said Nash.

Launched in a number of regions around the UK, the campaign is using social and digital platforms to reach a wider and potentially untapped talent pool. Those who engage with the campaign will be directed to employers and recruitment agencies offering a range of vacancies in their area. It’s an innovative real-time approach that the IMI believes will start to fix the significant skills gap the sector faces.

“There are currently 218 occupations across the sector, with technological advances – from ADAS and electric to connected motoring and online sales – creating opportunities that go far beyond traditional perceptions of working in automotive,” said Nash. “And our new campaign highlights the career opportunities that exist for individuals, whether at the start of their working life or looking for a change in direction.”

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