Skills gap broadening in Midlands

Skills shortages are most acute within the M4 corridor and the Midlands, according to Autotech Recruit.

The specialist automotive recruitment agency also says the average length of temporary contracts has risen from less than a fortnight to between four and six weeks.

The shortages are being felt in all disciplines, the company said.

MD Gavin White said, ‘The automotive industry has seen a shift in the last few years with a number of automotive companies re-shoring back to the UK. As the industry continues to thrive, employment will continue to rise along with the forecasted vehicle output. I predict that demand for bodyshops will be particularly prevalent as the UK becomes a centre of excellence in the manufacturing of vehicles.’

He added that a shortage of skills in the Midlands and along the M4 has seen wages increase in these areas.

‘As a result of these regional skill shortages, our contractors’ rates of pay have risen as more of them need to travel further to fill short term placements to cover leave and peaks in demand,’ Gavin said.

Meanwhile, Autotech Recruit has described 2016 as a ‘watershed’ year with more temporary and permanent positions filled than ever before.

Gavin says the surge in demand for skilled candidates has been driven by the booming state of the industry. He explained, ‘The growing demand, combined with the shortage of those highly qualified, experienced industry professionals, has created a challenging recruitment market for employers.

‘There’s also a greater sense of determination from job seekers entering this strengthening market. They are realising the progression opportunity this booming industry can bring and, in the case of permanent recruitment, we see that today’s skilled technicians are very much aware of their value and continue to actively seek new job opportunities.’

Autotech Recruit has also broadened its client pool with many more small, independent garages realising the benefits of using technical recruitment specialists.