The UK automotive industry is in rude health, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
But before we break out the bunting, a note of caution. Such is the rate of growth that there is a serious skills shortage among manufacturers and suppliers, and it has the potential to cut off the success story in its prime.
In particular, the problem is focused on engineering, although there are shortages of talent pretty much across every aspect of the industry. Sadly, a generation of under-investment in apprenticeships and training, as well as a reputation tarnished by the collapse of the British car industry, has come home to roost.
It’s noteworthy that the engineering deficit isn’t helped by the fact that around a third of all graduates get sucked into the banking and financial services industry, attracted by the salaries and opportunities, and appealing to their employers with their methodical ways of working.
How can that change? No question, it’s a long job, but promotion of giant financial figures and technological gains such as those released today is one, as is telling the story of what a rewarding career is available stepping into the automotive world. Children need to know what’s available so they can aspire to (and study for) the opportunity.