Worst automotive skills shortage in 20 plus years
The Institute of the Motor Industry is right to highlight the urgency for improved funding for skills training in the automotive sector. The IMI have been calling for the Government to inject funding specifically into electric vehicle technical roles for several years now. Having recently carried out analysis of 2022 automotive vacancies, the IMI have revealed that skills shortages are at their highest level for 20 years across the whole sector – at more than 23,000 technicians short. Consequently, the IMI are now refreshing their plea to the government but are now extending their request for support right across the automotive sector.
Here at ELV Training we fully support the need to focus on EV technologies to ensure that we have people with the right skillsets to be able to safely work on these vehicles. However, ELV Training also believe that equal importance needs to be given to ensuring resources are available to manage current outgoing vehicle technologies. "After all, the vehicles of today still need to be safely managed, dismantled and recycled" says ELV Training Founder Mark Jones. "A nuclear power station has to be safely decommissioned at the end of its serviceable life and it will be no different for the diesel and petrol based vehicles that we be retired over the next decade. We have to be careful not to focus all our efforts on ensuring we have technicians for the future and not forget that we need technicians now, to be able to meet the challenges of today. Challenges that include the maintenance and decommissioning of the vehicles on today's road. "
Skill shortages across the sector demonstrate that the Government needs to apply funding across traditional and newer technologies
Mark Jones says, "EVs currently only equate for 4% of the all vehicles on UK roads and there is a real risk that we forget that to ensure we can keep pace with the Government's decarbonation plans over the next 13 years, we have the skills and resources available. Decommissioning may not be as attractive as training for a new technology but its is still a necessity and needs to be managed safely for the sake of the planet. Having experienced first hand the challenges of the sector myself, I can say with conviction, that there was already long-standing legacy-driven recruitment challenges associated with vehicle dismantling and more specifically, the ELV operative role - a sector that was struggling to retain operatives and technicians, losing out to competing higher paying jobs with the sector or to similarly technical roles within the wider automotive sector.
This costly cycle of recruit, train and lose was supported traditionally by European workers who now have sadly, because of Brexit, returned to Europe leaving a skills hole in the vehicle dismantling industry. The problem was further exacerbated by the government's announcement to ban carbon based vehicles by 2030. Like many other industries, Brexit has left significant worker shortages within the metal recycling industry and vehicle dismantling sector, and therefore its imperative that the Government offers funding that addresses automotive skills shortages beyond EV."