Australia is experiencing a skills shortage in the automotive industry. By the end of 2017, the majority of car manufacturing plants on home soil were closed down, sending over 50 000 people into unemployment. The cause behind this was an economy unable to continue local production, leading them to send the work offshore, so they could sell their vehicles for lower prices, and remain in favour with the market.
The only issue now is that those mechanics, panel beaters and other members of the automotive industries have moved on, and our newer generations are looking to avoid being renderedjust as disposable as their predecessors were. The result? Tens of thousands of unfilled jobs floating around the suffering automotive industry.
So, how can we go about overcoming this skills shortage?
Securing & Retaining Apprenticeships
Focus needs to be drawn back onto our automotive industry, and how we will sustain it in years to come. This is a perfect time for new apprentices to step up. There are numerous apprenticeships and traineeships available at every sector of the industry, ranging from mechanics on the floor, to the sales representatives out the front. Whether you are looking to up-skill your existing staff, or merely encourage a young friend to consider the industry, if anyone is looking to start or progress in an industry full of opportunities, this is the time.
Subverting Gender Misconceptions
For generations, manual labour, such as construction workers and mechanics, have been perceived as career choices purely for men. In today’s modern age, however, we have progressed beyond believing women cannot enter these industries because they do not possess the same ‘qualities’ as their male counterparts. These outdated biases have essentially prevented 50% of our population from considering entering the automotive industry, in no small part contributing to the current skills shortage we are experiencing. By changing the outlook of those who would uphold antiquated beliefs, and encouraging women to transition into an exciting new career, we could go a long way towards closing the gap between workers and available positions.
Promoting Greater Understanding of the Industry
Speaking of tearing down outdated perceptions, we also need to create more awareness around what is actually involved in the work. People considering the industry are still preoccupied with old images of hard, dirty labour from wearied staff, toiling away. With new advancements in technology and procedures, the work has in fact grown to become a refined and well-respected craft, something any worker could be proud to call their own.