47% of auto work­ers to re­tire in next decade

In­dus­try is rais­ing aware­ness about ca­reers of­fered in bid to at­tract young tal­ent

The Province - - DRIVING | INDUSTRY INSIDER - Blair Qua­ley

Last March, the B.C. Au­to­mo­tive Sec­tor Al­liance (BCASA) an­nounced the com­ple­tion of a strat­egy cre­ated to ad­dress the com­ing labour short­age in the prov­ince’s au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try within the next decade.

The re­al­ity is that the av­er­age age of me­chan­ics and au­to­mo­bile ser­vice tech­ni­cians to­day is over 50.

In fact, it is es­ti­mated that more than 47 per cent of the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try will be re­tir­ing by the end of the decade. That means that over the next 10 years, the in­dus­try will need at least 20,000 new hires to fill the job open­ings as baby boomers start leav­ing the work­force.

Not all of these 20,000 new job open­ings will be po­si­tions such as me­chan­ics and ser­vice tech­ni­cians.

There are jobs across the en­tire sec­tor, in­clud­ing po­si­tions in hu­man re­sources, of­fice ad­min­is­tra­tion, mar­ket­ing, sales and finance.

The auto sec­tor to­day is a so­phis­ti­cated, high-tech in­dus­try that is con­stantly evolv­ing as auto tech­nol­ogy changes and ad­vances.

The in­dus­try also of­fers ex­cit­ing and well-pay­ing jobs in vir­tu­ally all parts of the prov­ince. This is a sec­tor that is flour­ish­ing in B.C. The New Car Deal­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of B.C. (NCDA), and its mem­ber deal­ers, al­ready em­ploy more than 36,000 Bri­tish Columbians in 55 com­mu­ni­ties through­out the prov­ince and rep­re­sent more than 370 new car and truck deal­ers.

For the past cou­ple of years, those of us in the auto in­dus­try have been com­ing up with new so­lu­tions to reach young, job-seek­ing Bri­tish Columbians and to raise aware­ness about the ca­reers of­fered in the in­dus­try.

In 2016 for ex­am­ple, BCASA has been ac­tive in a num­ber of ed­u­ca­tional and ca­reer fairs across the prov­ince. We en­gaged a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of young peo­ple dur­ing fairs in Ab­bots­ford, Nanaimo and Van­cou­ver.

BCASA was also present at the Skills Canada BC Pro­vin­cial Com­pe­ti­tion, the Lordco Tradeshow, the Lord Byng Ca­reer Fair and the Delta Trade + Tech­ni­cal Ca­reer Fair, reach­ing about 1,000 stu­dents and job seek­ers. At this year’s 97th an­nual Van­cou­ver In­ter­na­tional Auto Show ap­prox­i­mately 115,000 peo­ple were reached while they toured the Auto Show.

In ad­di­tion to the tradeshows, pre­sen­ta­tions were also given to Grade 10 stu­dents in or­der to in­form them of pos­si­ble ca­reer paths in the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try. Dur­ing the 2016 Fall se­mes­ter, ap­prox­i­mately 2,200 high school stu­dents learned about jobs in B.C.’s auto in­dus­try through the ca­reer plan­ning class in their schools’ cur­ricu­lum. To go along with all this out­reach ac­tiv­ity, a new cen­tral­ized on­line job board was also cre­ated to con­nect em­ploy­ers with new po­ten­tial em­ploy­ees.

Since last year, more than 350 new jobs have been posted on­line and job seek­ers can even tai­lor their search to fil­ter by lo­ca­tion and po­si­tion. That’s one of the perks of hav­ing a job in the auto in­dus­try — you can work in any lo­ca­tion across B.C.

The on­line job board is also a great re­source for those cu­ri­ous about what the cur­rent op­por­tu­ni­ties are. Job de­scrip­tions, as well as pos­si­ble education path­ways and re­quire­ments, are also listed on the site to give site vis­i­tors an idea of what the auto sec­tor looks like to­day. For more in­for­ma­tion about a ca­reer in the auto in­dus­try and to ac­cess the job board, visit bcau­to­ca­reers.ca.

Blair Qua­ley is pres­i­dent and CEO of the New Car Deal­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of BC. You can email him at bqua­ley@new­cardeal­ers.ca.

The av­er­age age of me­chan­ics and tech­ni­cians is over 50. — FOTOLIA FILES

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