Shortage of mechanics hits crisis point, says FTA

Orange truck in workshop

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

More than half (52.7%) of vacancies for vehicle mechanics, technicians and fitters will not be filled in the near future, it says.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) says it will tackle the issue at its Fleet Engineer Conference, taking place on June 11 at the National Agriculture and Exhibition Centre (NAEC) in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, sponsored by Continental Tyres and Schmitz Cargobull.

Lawrie Alford, head of automotive at FTA, said: “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.”

Alford believes that not enough secondary school and college leavers are drawn to technician apprenticeships, and the industry must work together to promote the benefits of this career and ensure the industry attracts a steady flow of new talent.

The one-day FTA 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 sector. 

For further information please visit the FTA website.  

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