Using a skills shortage to your advantageUp to 5,000 motor industry vacancies are struggling to be filled due to a lack of skills. How can you make the most of it when looking for a job?
The automotive sector was one of those hardest hit by the 2008 - 2009 recession. During this time, and in the aftermath, over 100,000 people left due to reasons such as retirement, redundancy and voluntary severance.
Now, as manufacturing and sales numbers grow, and technological advancements continue to move at pace, the skills gap that those vacating employees left has started to become more apparent. This means companies can’t find candidates with the right skill-set to fill their critical roles. Which gives candidates (like you) an opportunity to take the driver’s seat when looking for a job.
What do you want to do?
First things first – and most importantly – work out what you want to do! The Automotive Council estimates that there are currently around 5,000 vacancies in the sector, but not all of these will suit.
Production and Design Engineers are the most in demand roles, but others such as Maintenance Technicians and Buyers are also required. Sought after skills include lean manufacturing, computer aided engineering and quality core tools training.
Do some research to find out which jobs need your skill set. If it’s not immediately apparent, think about which of your skills are transferable to other roles. Many companies are offering conversion programmes for employees with similar skills, or from other industries in an effort to build a capable workforce.
Brush up on your qualifications
With the above being said, if you think there’s a role which you’d like to go for but perhaps don’t quite meet the requirements, find out which qualifications are needed and learn them. Websites like SMMT (www.smmt.co.uk) and the IMI (www.theimi.org.uk) are a good place to start, and many employers will offer to pay for qualifications when there’s a benefit to the company.
Don’t sell yourself short
If you’re looking for a new role, make sure you don’t downplay any achievements or relevant industry experience you might have. If a company is looking for a certain set of skills which you have, make sure you broadcast it where ever you can. That might be in your headline on LinkedIn, your overview section on your CV or in a job interview - just make sure it’s obvious.
Now’s your chance to be picky about where you work. Companies in the motor industry are catching on to the idea of being an employer of choice in an attempt to attract top talent. Whilst it’s unlikely that’ll mean slides and bean-bag chairs ala Google and Facebook, it does mean things like generous holiday allowances and competitive pension plans. Some of the larger companies will have facilities like gyms, spa facilities and crèches on site for employees to use as well. Map out what’s important to you in a new role, outside of salary expectations and find employers who can provide that value add.
Whether you’re looking to branch out in to a new field or gain a better work/life balance, making the most of a skills shortage will pay dividends for your long and short term career goals,