Shortage of skilled engineers a threat to logistics industry

More than half (52.7%) of vacancies for vehicle mechanics, technicians and fitters will not be filled in the near future, according to FTA’s 2019 Logistics Report, as staff shortages within repair workshops and vehicle inspection units hit crisis point.

FTA will tackle this issue at its popular Fleet Engineer Conference, taking place on 11 June 2019 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, 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.”

Mr Alford continued: “Not enough secondary school and college leavers are drawn to technician apprenticeships; we must work together to promote the benefits of this career and ensure the industry attracts a steady flow of new talent.”