AUTO JOBS NEED SKILL INJECTION
Staff shortages are boosting demand for these tradies, Melanie Burgess reports
ABOUT 100,000 job openings are forecast for Australia’s automotive industry, proving there are immense opportunities in sectors that official records suggest may be in decline.
Jobs department research reveals there are not enough skilled workers now available to replace natural attrition in the industry – so anyone keen to train up will be highly sought after.
Most of the openings are created as workers leave the workforce – retiring or moving into a new line of work, either in a different part of the automotive sector or in a new sector entirely.
In the five years to 2022, Jobs department data predicts roles will become available for 42,000 motor vehicle and parts salespeople, 27,000 motor mechanics, 10,000 vehicle parts and accessories fitters, 9000 panelbeaters, 8000 vehicle painters, 2000 vehicle body builders and trimmers and 2000 automotive electricians.
“The number of suitable applicants per vacancy is the lowest since 2008,” its 2017 Automotive Trades Labour Market Research report states.
“Despite growth in demand, there has not been a corresponding increase in new supply to the labour market.”
Vacant jobs for automotive tradespeople attracted an average of 0.8 suitable applicants for each vacancy.
Motor Trades Association of Australia chief executive Richard Dudley says it is “absolutely” a good time to start a career working with cars.
“We are facing historically high skill shortages across the automotive sector,” he says.
“With the array of technology now found in motor vehicles, it should be attracting people to explore these careers. The work can be quite satisfying.”
The MTA Institute at Eight Mile Plains offers a five-week pre-vocational course – the Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation – for people interested in an automotive trade and wanting skills to help themland an apprenticeship.
Upcoming courses begin February 4 and April 29 and may be subsidised by the Queensland Government.
The MTA Institute also runs a three-day Auto Camp for school students aged 14 to 17 that offers hands-on experience in areas such as hybrid/electric vehicles and vehicle maintenance.