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There are approximately 27,773 employees working in the Welsh automotive retail sector. Although sector employment in the UK is forecast to fall by 0.2% per annum over the period 2004-2014, Welsh employment levels are expected to increase.

The occupational profile of the sector is similar to that of the sector in the UK. 37% replacement demand is forecast over the next decade, compared to 30% across the UK automotive retail sector. Across the occupations the largest total requirements for 2004-2014 period are forecast for:

  • 2,200 managers and senior officials
  • 1,700 sales and customer services occupations
  • 900 skilled trades

There are around 3,800 workplaces, the majority of which have less than 10 employees (92%), compared 83% for all sectors across Great Britain.

The majority of the Welsh 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 age profile of the sector does not differ significantly from the UK economy as a whole. The representation of ethnic minorities in the sector in Scotland is almost non-existent

There is particular concern that there are a low proportion of managers with S/NVQ Level 4 plus or equivalent qualifications in the sector. Only 14% of managers operating in the sale and maintenance of motor vehicles are qualified to Level 4, compared to 39% across all sectors of the economy.

Welsh automotive companies reported higher skills gaps (23%) compared to all sectors in Wales (18%) in 2005. Skills gaps were reported in sales and customer service occupations and personal service occupations. Skills gaps amongst employees were reported for: customer handling skills (63%); problem solving skills (61%); and management skills (51%).

Workforce statistics:

  • 21% of the workforce is female.
  • 14% of the workforce is aged 16-24 years, compared to 16% across all sectors in Wales
  • 56% is aged 25-44 years, compared to 45% across all sectors in Wales.
  • 30% is aged 45 plus years, compared to 40% across all sectors in Wales
  • The average of the workforce is 40 years.
  • 2% of the workforce is from ethnic minority groups.

Employer statistics:

  • 19% of companies report vacancies, compared to 21% across Wales.
  • 51% of all vacancies in the sector are hard-to-fill.
  • 6% of companies report skills shortage vacancies, compared to 4% across Wales.
  • Technical and practical skills are lacking amongst applicants.
  • 52% of employers provide off-the-job training, compared to 58% across all sectors.
  • 71% of skilled trade occupations received training, compared to 19% across all sectors.
  • A high staff turnover is reported, 25% per annum.

Source: Automotive Skills SSA Stage 1 – Wales 2006a and Future skills Wales 2005