IMI identifies 18,000-technician ADAS skills gap

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) estimates that at least one in 10 cars on UK roads will feature Level 2 autonomy by the end of this year, and that will grow to almost half of the car parc by 2030.

However, according to its latest data there are currently only around 3,500 ADAS-qualified technicians in the UK, leaving a void right now of some 18,000 technicians to meet the current ADAS requirement.

Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI, said: “Adapting a workforce to meet the rapidly evolving needs of an increasingly advanced car parc is no mean feat and certainly there has been plenty of focus on getting ready for EV. However, at the IMI we fear this could actually mean the sector has taken its eye off the ball in relation to upskilling for ADAS. This technology is already present in vehicles on UK roads. But with only 3,500 technicians ADAS qualified there’s a real risk that repairs and recalibration is taking place without the proper skills – and that is a serious risk to road safety.”

He continued: “Maintaining modern, high-tech vehicles is a matter of life and death, so a shortage of suitably trained technicians is nothing short of a crisis, particularly when you consider the government’s stated ambitions for autonomous vehicles. It is imperative, therefore, that all relevant stakeholders – including government – acknowledge the profound economic and road safety repercussions of the prevailing skills gap. We need to work collaboratively to see more technicians gain the necessary qualifications to protect the industry and road users as we move towards an exciting future of autonomous driving.”