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There are an estimated 485,688 employees working in the English automotive retail sector.

There are around 56,000 workplaces across England, the majority of which have less than 10 employees (88%), compared 83% for all sectors across Great Britain. 10% of workplaces have between 11-49 employees and 2% have between 50-199 employees.

The majority of the English automotive workforce is male and this is unlikely to change. The age profile of the sector does not differ significantly from the UK economy as a whole. Ethnic minority groups are under-represented in the sector compared to all other sectors.

Qualifications levels in the sector are relatively low, especially for managers and senior official occupations.

19% of English automotive companies reported skills gaps in 2005, which was lower than in Wales and Scotland. Skills gaps were mainly reported in skilled trade occupations, plus sales and customer service occupations. Skills gaps amongst employees were reported for: technical and practical skills (58%); problem solving skills (45%); and customer handling skills (38%). Future skills needs will be for IT, management and technical and practical skills.

Workforce statistics:

  • 18% of the workforce is female
  • 17% of the workforce is aged 16-24 years, compared to 14% across all sectors in the UK
  • 48% are aged 25-44 years, compared to 47%
  • 35% are aged 45 plus years, compared to 38%
  • approximately 6% of the workforce is from ethnic minority groups

Employer statistics:

  • On average, there are 7 employees per site.
  • 15% of employers report vacancies.
  • 7% of employers report hard-to-fill vacancies.
  • 6% of companies report skills shortage vacancies.
  • Technical and practical skills, plus problem solving skills are lacking amongst applicants.
  • 43% of employers provide or arrange off-the-job training, compared to 59% across all sectors in England.

Source: IMI Workforce Profile 2009, Automotive Skills SSA Stage 1 – England 2006a and National Employers Skills Survey 2003