Shortages of mechanics in UK workshops continues to rise

Staff shortages within the UK’s repair workshops and vehicle inspection units have hit “crisis point”, according to the UK Freight Transport Association’s 2019 Logistics Report.

The report shows that more than half (52.7 per cent) of vacancies for vehicle mechanics, technicians and fitters in the UK will not be filled in the near future.

FTA aims to tackle this issue at its Fleet Engineer Conference, taking place on June 11 at the NAEC in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, sponsored by Continental Tyres and Schmitz Cargobull.

Lawrie Alford, Head of Automotive at FTA, the organisation representing the interests of the logistics sector, commented: “Vehicle mechanics, technicians and fitters play a vital role in keeping the UK’s logistics sector running seamlessly, but the pool of these skilled engineers is declining rapidly; more than half of vacancies for these roles will not be filled in the near future, according to FTA’s 2019 Logistics Report.

“Currently, six million vehicle inspections are undertaken per annum by 30,000 technicians working on HGVs, trailers and PSVs. But unless the skills shortage is tackled, workshops will struggle to keep up with demand and queues for vehicles inspections and repairs will grow longer and longer.

“Operators will be forced to place their vehicles in ‘downtime’ for increasing periods, which could cause their operations to come grinding to a halt; not ideal for the consumers and businesses who have come to expect superfast, “just-in-time” deliveries.”

Lawrie Alford adds that there are not enough secondary school and college leavers being drawn to technician apprenticeships and says he will be exploring this topic in detail at FTA’s Fleet Engineer Conference during his speaker session, ‘Preparing technicians for the future’.

The one-day conference will also provide delegates with exclusive opportunities to hear about the very latest developments in commercial vehicle technology, maintenance legislation changes and best practice advice from leading names from across the sectors, compliance and maintaining vehicles.

Places at the Fleet Engineer Conference can be booked here.