Many AADA members have contacted us concerning the current shortage of skilled technicians, which is affecting almost every dealership in Australia.
Declining apprentice numbers and the lack of skilled immigrants entering Australia due to ongoing boarder closures have exacerbated the issue which has been growing worse over recent years.
According to the MTAA there is a shortage of more than 17,500 light vehicle technicians in Australia. It is critically important that the Government recognises the shortage of automotive technicians and works with us to develop strategies to address the issue. One way they can do this is by including automotive technicians on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL), a list of occupations which is being prioritised during the current border closures. Governments are very responsive to calls from businesses in their electorates and having Dealers share their personal experience will be key in getting them to recognise and address the skills shortage issue.
We would therefore encourage you to write to your local Members of Parliament and specifically request that vehicle mechanics be included on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List. Help them understand the importance of a skilled migration program that caters to the needs of Dealers, is cost effective and easily accessible. The Government should also be working to develop a strategy to encourage school leavers to participate in automotive apprenticeship programs.
You can find your MP’s contact details here: https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members
In your letter, we suggest you share your experiences including the direct effects the skills shortage is having on your business, including points like:
- The shortage of skilled technicians locally.
- The effect of international boarder closures on availability of skilled workers for your dealership.
- The consequences for your dealership’s service and repair department, e.g.
- Do you have to prioritise service and repair bookings?
- The consequences for your local community/customers, e.g.:
- The need to keep people mobile so they can get to work, do the shopping, pick up the kids from school, etc.
- The need to delay service and repair bookings due to a lack of skilled technicians in the workshop.
- Delays in vehicle deliveries to customers due to PDI delays
- Difficulties you experience in performing priority repairs to emergency or essential services vehicles
The AADA also recently conducted a member survey which provides you with industry-wide facts to include in your letter. You can also download the survey and attach it to your letter.
Some key findings of the survey are, that 97% of the respondents are suffering from a shortage of technicians with long lead times to fill vacant positions and Dealers in regional area being affected particularly hard.