Automotive sector suffers skills shortages

The automotive sector faces potentially damaging skills
shortages which threaten future productivity, a six-month report has revealed.

The survey finds that areas such as applied IT, engineering,
and manufacturing all have problems recruiting skilled staff.

It highlighted a growing shortage in the number of
multi-skilled technicians who can maintain assembly lines, keeping production
delays to a minimum.

The Northern Economic Research Unit and the Automotive
Sector Strategic Alliance (assa) conducted the survey of more than 200
automotive companies in the UK, with 25 per cent in the North East.

It is hoped that the results of the report will help form a
framework for the sector’s training programme and encourage government support
for specific areas of need.

The report noted the success of the DTI funded ‘Accelerate’
programme in the West Midlands, where larger automotive companies pass on their
expertise to smaller second and third tier companies and called for the
establishment of similar projects in the North-East.

Paul Gough, head of assa’s research team, said, “This is the
most far reaching survey into skills carried out for the autmotive industry to
date. It provides real evidence for us to direct training effectively and lobby
for government support for specific areas of need.”

By Robert De La Poer

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