So Just How Bad Are Our Skills Shortages?

Australian automotive skills shortages

We frequently hear complaints regarding Australia’s skills shortages across the automotive industry; but just how bad are they?

In recent times there has been some flow of labour back towards the industry as a result of the end of the mining and resources boom, but is this providing sufficient relief?

Auto Skills Australia conducts an environmental scan of the Automotive industry each year, and are able to provide some labour force modelling on skills supply and demand.

Their recent report suggests an 8% reduction over reported shortages from last year. Specifically, the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates that the Australian automotive industry currently employs over 100,000 motor mechanics.

Auto skills Australia’s modelling indicates that current shortages of light and heavy vehicle technician’s amounts to more than 7,300 persons.

Then consider that currently as at the end of March 2016, there were 1720 x Motor Mechanics holding a 457 visa in Australia.

Whilst importing skilled labour provides an immediate solution, it is critical that employers are able to retain these workers, particularly considering the upfront investment in choosing to recruit internationally.

Several other factors affect the industry’s ability to combat the skills shortages by attracting and retaining apprentices. Sadly, there is still a negative stigma associated with the image, pay and working conditions, which tends to deter school leavers from considering a trade career. This is occurring at a time when rapid technological advances in motor vehicles demands the skills of higher caliber technicians, hence posing an apparent catch 22 situation.

Recent and ongoing changes to vocational and education and training coupled with the challenges of increasing costs of living have led to a reduction in the number of apprentices. Approximately 28% of the automotive industry employs apprentices, with the vast majority of these (85%) employing one or two apprentices, with less than 3% employing more than 10 apprentices.

Techs On The Move’s sole purpose is finding highly experienced automotive tradespeople with experience and training at the highest level from other international markets. We don’t recruit locally, as we’re actively working to combat Australia’s skills shortages whilst assisting motivated individuals who are keen to experience working in Australia.

If you’re a highly skilled automotive tradesperson with a sense of adventure and would like to explore the possibilities available to you in Australia, then we encourage you to explore our website.

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