Having met with a broad range of SMMT members leading Britain’s CV sector last year, one widely experienced challenge was that of the recruitment market, particularly for skilled and semi-skilled workers.
SMMT launched the Automotive Industry Careers Guide in late autumn, providing details of the diverse roles available in across the UK automotive industry, from the CV sector to aftermarket, supply and cars, employing a staggering 793,300 people.
The transition towards high tech, zero emission powertrains and connected and automated vehicles is a seismic shift, but it is one that brings exciting new opportunities for people that may not previously have seen themselves in a career in the industry.
For example, when I was in Northern Ireland in November, I had the chance to meet design engineers that are working with cutting edge computer technology to design the buses of the future. The need for electrical, computer and software engineers is growing at a rapid pace, and opportunities continue to present themselves as pioneering equipment is conceived, developed and manufactured for today’s modern vehicles.
As part of its continued effort to ensure the concerns of the CV sector are heard, SMMT will hold an Apprenticeship Showcase at Portcullis House during Apprentice Week in February, with a number of members already having confirmed their attendance. I look forward to sharing an update on the showcase.
Encouraging young people to make a career in the automotive industry starts early: roles like design engineers may need a university degree, but there is also a growing variety of tech-related apprenticeships available across the sector.
The UK’s CV sector is positive and proactive when it comes to apprenticeships and, in manufacturing especially, considers it highly important to continue to nurture and develop fresh talent for the future –to generate a steady flow of new employees, but also to encourage fresh skills, enthusiasm and productive workforces.
As such, SMMT will continue to call for measures that help the industry to grow its offering in the recruitment market, with measures such as Apprenticeship Levy reform and the creation of a national skills platform, to attract the next generation that can deliver on our ambitious targets in the years of change ahead.