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There are approximately 42,600 automotive retail employees, accounting for around 2% of jobs in Scotland. Additionally, 5,000 people are estimated to be self-employed in the sector.

Employment in the sector is expected to fall slightly over the next decade, but replacement demand is expected to be 24% of the workforce. Across the occupations the largest total requirements for 2004-2014 are forecast for:

  • 3,700 in sales and customer services
  • 2,200 managers and senior officials occupations
  • 600 in skilled trades

The majority of the Scottish automotive workforce is male and this is unlikely to change. The gender imbalance is a possible reflection of the culture of the sector since it is very male dominated. The representation of ethnic minorities in the sector in Scotland is almost non-existent, and more imbalanced in the sector than it is in the population as a whole.

There is particular concern that there are a low proportion of managers with S/NVQ Level 4 plus (SCQF Level 8 plus) or equivalent qualifications in the sector.

Workforce statistics:

  • 21% of the workforce is female.
  • 14% are part-time, compared to 32% in other sectors.
  • 32% are skilled tradespeople, compared to 9% in other sectors.
  • 18% are employed in Sales and customer service.
  • 50% of the workforce is aged below 38.
  • £ 359 is the average full-time salary (17% lower than across Scotland).

Employer statistics:

  • There are around 5,100 companies.
  • 83% are small workplaces.
  • 26% of employers feel that keeping up with technology is the biggest challenge.
  • Only 9% mentioned that attracting skilled staff was one of the main challenges for the following 12 months.
  • 35% of employers who recruited in the previous 2 to 3 years, recruited someone from school, while only 4% from university.
  • 16% is labour turnover, compared to 22% in other sectors.
  • Skill shortages affect 1 in 12 workplaces.

27% of automotive companies in Scotland reported skills gaps, compared to 22% across all sectors in Scotland in 2006. There was a high demand for: planning and organising (64%); technical and practical skills (62% of companies); and problem solving skills (55%).

Source: Futureskills Scotland 2007and Automotive Skills SSA Stage 1 – Scotland 2006a