GSF Car Parts warns of skills ‘timebomb’

Steve Horne, CEO of GSF Car Parts has urged the new government to urgently address what he describes as an automotive skills ‘timebomb’.

Automotive parts distributor GSF Car Parts has 185 branches and over 3,000 team members and recently announced a multi-million-pound investment in a new 500,000-sqft distribution centre in Wolverhampton to super-charge the company’s growth.

Speaking ahead of GSF’s TechFest Garage Technology Festival, Horne said:

“The skills gap currently facing the sector is a huge ticking timebomb – and it only seems to be getting wider and wider. This is incredibly painful for garages that are successfully winning work and looking to grow.

“The skills gap is a straitjacket around the growth ambitions of the entire sector. GSF Car Parts is recruiting heavily and adding a huge range of skilled jobs. But finding people is a real challenge for the sector, and there is no sign that this will let up any time soon.

“As a company, we want to grow too: we have invested millions in scaling our business and driving growth, but our success depends on our customers being able to thrive. And for that, they need skilled technicians in big numbers.”


He continued: “We need to sort this out – and quickly. We need to direct more young people to the sector, give the industry a name as an ideal career destination, whilst opening more routes for young people.

“The independent garage sector has been in the shadows too long. There are exceptional people working in skilled roles on incredibly complex vehicle technologies. The public’s perception may be of people twirling spanners, but technicians need a raft of skills to deal with today’s cars.

“At the end of the day, motorists are what keep our society and economy moving. But cars need to be maintained safely and effectively, and at the moment, it sometimes feels we’re going into a battle with a blunt knife.”