IMI annual report reveals industry challenges

The annual Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) Baseline Report has revealed that the number of businesses and job roles in the automotive industry has fallen, but vacancies have risen to a 21-year high.

It found that there are 758,000 jobs in the automotive sector, up from 742,600 in 2022, with 78% within retail and 22% in automotive.

Meanwhile, the number of businesses has fallen from 100,000 in 2022 to 98,500, 97% of which are in automotive retail, while job roles has fallen from 218 to 213 due to increased technology.

The report also found that only 19% of the sector are female and 39% are aged under 35.

Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI, said: “Our sector has been facing a number of challenges for some time and the high number of vacancies follows the steady trend we have seen in recent years.

“Vacancies are now at the highest we have seen in more than two decades, and that is a real concern for the ever-growing skills gap. Added to that, we have seen the number of businesses in the industry fall, meaning it is harder for motorists to find a local dealer or garage. This means upskilling is more important than ever so that the businesses that remain can provide the services customers need as automotive technology evolves.

“To ensure the automotive sector continues to serve customers and their vehicles as technology evolves and we move closer to the end of petrol and diesel engines, we must urgently fill the growing skills gap. More support and training is essential and overdue to better equip our existing and future workforce. And, to attract the best future employees across all roles, we need to work together to increase diversity. It is great to see a larger number of young people joining automotive, but the fall in the proportion of women is a real concern – we need the opposite.

“A more diverse sector will be stronger, more successful and more resilient, better able to serve every motorist in the UK.”