Skills gap cause for concern

Doubt has been cast over the UK motor industry ahead of the General Election this week, with the majority of businesses in the sector finding it increasingly difficult to fill job vacancies.

With a £71.6bn turnover and employing 814,000 people in the UK, the motor industry reports thousands of jobs still remain vacant due to the political future being in turmoil. As technology in automotive continues to grow, the shortage of skills to work on and with the latest motoring innovations is becoming an increasingly worrying issue.

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), the professional body for the motor industry, believes a lack of new talent coming into the sector could cause a serious roadblock in the uptake of new motoring technology if the skills gap is not addressed rapidly. According to research by the CIPD, 53% of employers have said they are choosing to upskill their existing workforce instead of recruiting new staff due to roles being hard-to-fill. However 38% of businesses plan to invest in apprenticeships and many say they’ll increase the amount of money set aside for staff training.

The IMI says recruitment and training is vital to the impending success of the UK market and it is pinning its hopes on the training Levy introduced by Government earlier this year to give businesses the freedom to invest in training.

Steve Nash, chief executive at the IMI, said, ‘We have a big hurdle to overcome in attracting new talent to the sector and we hope whoever comes into power on 9 June will look at this issue with some urgency to make sure the UK does not fall behind in the automotive ‘arms race’.’