Skilled engineer shortage threatens logistics industry

Skilled engineer shortage threatens logistics sector

More than half of vacancies for vehicle mechanics, technicians and fitters will not be filled in the near future as staff shortages within repair workshops and vehicle inspection units hit crisis point, the Freight Transport Association has warned. 

Lawrie Alford, Head of Automotive at FTA, which represents 17,000 logistics businesses, 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."  

FTA will tackle this skills issue at its Fleet Engineer Conference, taking place on 11 June 2019 at the National Agriculture and Exhibition Centre (NAEC) in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire.

Delegates will hear about the latest developments in commercial vehicle technology, maintenance legislation changes and best practice advice from leading names from across the sector. The conference is aimed at those with responsibilities for specifying commercial vehicles, ensuring roadworthiness, compliance and maintaining vehicles. 

For more information or to book a place, please visit the FTA website: https://fta.co.uk/fleet-engineer-19.