Automotive still tops job vacancies table despite slight drop

There has been a slight drop in the number of vacancies across the wider automotive industry – from 23,000 to 22,000 – but motor trades are holding firm against all other industries to retain top spot on the job vacancies table.

For every 100 motor trades employees there are four vacancies, down from 4.1 last month, according to the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI).

This latest IMI report should be an important reference point for the political parties as they develop their manifestos for the general election on 4 July.

Automotive still tops job vacancies table

The figures in the IMI’s UK Automotive Vacancy Overview Report for April 2024 confirm that the sector continues to face a multitude of challenges which are exacerbating the job vacancy crisis. One of the most significant is the increasingly technological advances in automotive, uplifting the technical knowledge and experience required for many job roles. This means each vacancy is competing against tech roles across a wider range of industries.

Emma Carrigy, research manager at the IMI, said:

“Increased competition for each vacancy is certainly having an impact on businesses’ ability to fill roles. However, it should also be seen as an opportunity. The rising number of technical roles our industry requires today and in the near future means the pool of applicants is potentially wider than ever. It’s critical, therefore, that we do everything we can to change perceptions of what a career in automotive offers to effectively attract talent from other sectors.

“The IMI’s ‘There’s More to Motor’ campaign is focused on doing just that. The campaign is spreading the word about the wide range of opportunities for school leavers, apprentices and career changers. Since launching in 2023 it has reached millions of individuals, many of whom have never held an automotive role.”

Automotive vacancies peaked in early 2023, reaching 30,000. The current figure of 22,000 open positions in the job vacancies table is therefore a significant improvement. However, it does not go far enough. With the number of vacancies remaining stubbornly high for the past 12 months, the sector continues to buck the nationwide trend for all industries.