New tech will require more experts, but industry leaders warn of a growing skills shortage.
Cutting-edge technology will create an additional 320,000 jobs in the UK’s automotive industry by 2030, despite fears increasing automation could reduce the nation’s workforce.
Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) chief executive Steve Nash said at the London motor show that rapidly growing demand for newly created jobs such as analytic engineers, 3D printing technicians and cybersecurity experts illustrates how the car industry is “embracing technology” to create new opportunities.
“Employment in the motoring sector has increased by 11.9 percent in the last year,” he said. “This highlights how the industry is providing a positive landscape for people searching for a new career.”
Autonomous and connected car technology alone is predicted to create 25,000 more jobs by 2030 in UK manufacturing. The impact of this growth, according to research by the Society of Motor Traders & Manufacturers, will be around £51 billion (Rs 468,236 crore) of value-added income to the UK economy.
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Nash warned that this surge in demand for jobs would need to be met by an increase in training schemes. He said that the industry “needs to build new learning environments and training programmes across all levels that can allow technicians to expand their skills, as well as attract new young people into these roles”.
IMI-commissioned research suggests that the automotive industry has lagged behind others in attracting the attention of young people. It recommends that automotive businesses draw more young staff into the industry with apprenticeships or similar training schemes.
“With 67 percent of young people saying they would prefer to sidestep university in favour of earning money and 48 percent choosing to avoid student debt by opting for other choices such as an apprenticeship, the IMI is calling on businesses to take advantage of this by raising the awareness of the career opportunities available to young people,” it said in a statement.
Even before the increase in high-tech roles, the UK’s automotive industry has long had a skills shortage, as highlighted by Autocar UK this spring. Demand for engineers, in particular, has not been met by supply, so much so that it’s estimated that Britain will need 1.8m more engineers and technicians by 2025, a large portion of whom will be working in jobs relative to the automotive industry.
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