Spinning spanners around the globe

21 February 2020

Mechanics are in huge demand here and abroad

As far as bulletproof jobs go, being a mechanic isn’t a bad idea. It’s an occupation that’s constantly in demand and provides a great platform for global employment. 

Most vehicle models built by a brand – cars, motorcycles, commercials and trucks – are similar irrespective of where they’re sold around the world. Manufacturers have purposely designed them to be as common as possible, across their fleet, to maximise production efficiencies and to reduce global deployment costs. 

That’s great news if a mechanic is a brand specialist and has a real appetite for travel. In particular, apprentices that have trained in dealerships often develop highly-focused vehicle product and model skills that are valuable anywhere that brand of vehicle is sold around the globe.

National figures indicate the Australian automotive industry requires an additional 35,000 skilled workers. Skills shortages are affecting almost half of the industry – including mechanical – limiting business investment, employment, planning and growth. That means there’s a lot of opportunity for people that can repair vehicles or want to learn how. Automotive business owners and by extension Australia’s 19.5 million motorists benefit too. Overseas, it’s a similar story.

The automotive skills shortage is a complex issue. I don’t like the idea of losing our precious skilled tradies, but if they spend a bit of time overseas and come back with even more expertise and knowledge then that’s a benefit to the individual, and to the broader Australian economy. So that’s good for all of us.   

Words: VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym. As featured in the Herald Sun 21 February 2020.

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