There could be a big skills gap in the motor trade when Britain leaves the EU.
Nearly 10 per cent of employees in the UK automotive sector originate from the EU, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This creates potential for a significant skills gap in the motor trade industry as Brexit nears and—quite literally—drives EU workers away.
The industry faces exceptional risk, as there is already a diminished talent pool due to younger generations’ lack of awareness of industry advancement opportunities. Use these tips to maintain top talent and stay afloat if Brexit threatens your labour pool.
- Encourage a fresh perspective - Ensure that employees across the EU (including the UK) feel encouraged to be a part of the industry by branding your business in a way that highlights the potential for growth and opportunities. Consider implementing a school or college programme to educate youth about the industry and offer apprenticeships, possibly working with similar businesses to your own to attract future talent.
- Establish a positive working environment - Don’t let your organisation become narrow-minded in terms of organisational culture and workplace norms. Encourage innovation and open dialogue about new ideas. Try making your work environment as welcoming as possible by allowing flexible hours and prioritising a work-life balance for employees where possible.
- Support EU workers - Be sure to lend a helping hand to your EU employees and offer assistance in their application process for ‘settled status’ or ‘pre-settled status’ to ensure their working rights. You can do so by covering the application fee or providing legal aid.
While not all motor trade businesses rely on help from EU workers, a significant number of people work within this sector, so above all it is important to try and keep the talent you have in the industry and – if you can’t do that – make sure that your business and the motor trade in general is an attractive place to work for UK nationals to replace any gaps in skills needed.
From an insurance perspective, Bollington will continue to offer good quality motor trade insurance whatever happens in the future – so you can safeguard your business against the general risks you may face with covers including business interruption insurance. Call us on 01625 854443 for any traders combined insurance enquiries.