As the automotive sector faces a 20-year high in vacancies, the Institute of the Motor Industry, IMI, has launched a campaign to debunk outdated perceptions and is looking for people to share their positive experiences.
Chief Operating Officer Lesley Woolley explains: “Understandably, businesses are worried about filling vacancies and the impact of skills shortages. We acknowledge the stereotyping that happens and why many people think that a job in automotive is dirty, a masculine work environment, and not welcoming for everyone. But automotive is changing. The Diversity Task Force has enabled us to work with many businesses who are leading the change to create more equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplaces. They’ve understood the intrinsic value of attracting, nurturing, and retaining diverse talent. It’s now time to showcase the changing face of automotive, a vibrant, tech-led, customer and people-centric ecosystem. It’s a great time to be working in the sector which the campaign will clearly demonstrate.”
The IMI Perceptions campaign will use digital sharing platforms to reach people looking for a change in direction. Kicking off in September, with regionally targeted activity pinpointing job roles matched to employers with vacancies, the campaign will also highlight stories of those who have moved into automotive for a career change.
Amy Edwards, an Apprentice LCV Technician at Motus Commercials is one of those real voices. “I never thought about joining the automotive sector until I saw a service advisor job advertised at the same company where my Dad and brother worked. With my customer service background in retail, I thought why not have a go. I haven’t looked back and I honestly can’t imagine working in any other industry now.
“I believe the biggest misconception of the sector is that workshop roles are dirty and for less intelligent people. The way the industry is going with EV means that there are less mucky jobs on the vehicles and the added safety concerns means that everyone needs a good level of training. Plus, I’ve never met a Master Technician who hasn’t completely blown my mind with the amount of knowledge they have.
“I’m currently on my third role in the sector and I can honestly say the skills I’ve gained in the previous two roles have helped me massively in my current position. Take advantage of work experience and apprenticeship opportunities and even just pop into a local site and ask any questions you have. We’re a sector in need so you won’t be turned away.” The IMI is urging members and the wider automotive community to share their real voices to raise awareness of the potential of automotive, you can share your story via this form: https://tide.theimi.org.uk/equity-diversity-and-inclusion/case-studies.