Do you enjoy working with your hands, and finding out how things work? Have you got a strong interest in motor vehicles, from cars and motorcycles to buses and trucks? If so, this career area might be the one for you.
The retail motor industry in Scotland, and across the UK, is being affected by several trends. Sales of electric and hybrid cars are growing significantly. This is partly as a result of our need to develop more fuel-efficient vehicles, which reduce carbon emissions and air pollution. But, drivers also want to cut their fuel costs.
Vehicles of all types are becoming more complex, with more onboard computers and internet access. So, diagnosing faults in vehicle computer networks and repairing electronic faults has become more important.
Around 43,000 people work in the retail motor industry in Scotland. Females are still under-represented in most sectors of the industry.
This career area includes jobs in:
Possible employers include:
You might be able to become a vehicle technician specialising in the repair and maintenance of vehicles used by emergency and rescue services, with organisations such as Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, airport fire and rescue services and the Scottish Ambulance Service.
There are also relevant opportunities in the Armed Services, particularly in the Army, for repairing and maintaining military vehicles, from light armoured vehicles to tanks.
Employment was affected by the 2008 recession, particularly in vehicle sales where some people were made redundant. Fortunately, vehicle sales have recovered and rose by 9.3% in 2014, always a good sign. Motorcycle sales also increased.
Future growth in the sector is expected to increase by almost 3% by 2020. Overall employment rates have been steadily increasing since 2012. Vehicle technicians and electricians are particularly in demand.
Employment in parts sales and distribution is expected to be stable over the next few years.
Most young people join the industry by doing a Modern Apprenticeship, which involves on the job training and going to a college or training centre part time. Entrance requirements vary from no formal qualifications to a group of National 4 or 5 subjects including English, Maths and a science (preferably Physics) or technological subject. Full time college courses at various levels are also available.
The Institute of the Motor Industry is the sector skills council for the motor trade. You will find useful information on their careers website Autocity.