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BC automotive sector takes steps to address possible labour shortfall

Ever thought about pursuing a career in the automotive industry? Now might be a good time to start.

BC’s automotive sector says it’s looking down the barrel of what could be a critical labour shortage.

“Over the coming decade, we’ll be seeing a need of upwards of 20,000 skilled workers,” says BC New Car Dealer’s Association president and CEO Blair Qualey. “So we have a problem of…we have more jobs than people.”

According to the BC Automotive Sector Alliance, up to ⅓ of the industry’s current labour force is expected to retire in the next 3-5 years. The average age an automotive industry worker in BC is 55.

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To address the potential shortfall, the Alliance has developed a comprehensive human resource strategy and an industry employee handbook. It has also begun an outreach program focused on introducing high school students to the possibilities of a career in the automotive industry.

BC Minister of Jobs Shirley Bond and New Car Dealers president CEO Blair Qualey
BC Minister of Jobs Shirley Bond and New CaR Dealers president CEO Blair Qualey

“With an unprecedented number of available job positions in the comings years, we want young people to know about the exciting careers in our industry and the resources available to them,” adds Qualey.

A centralized online job board has also been created. currently has 150 openings for auto mechanics and technicians, customer service professionals, support specialists, office administrators, service counter staff and managers.

These initiatives were identified following a market research project, funded by the BC Ministry of Jobs in 2013. Jobs Minister Shirley Bond says the province’s automotive industry is crucial to the health of the BC economy.

“This is a sector that employs almost 50,000 people across the province. These are well-paying, family-supporting jobs in the province and we want to make sure that this sector continues to grow. It’s the backbone of many industries in the province,” says Bond. “When you think about any industry, any of the sectors that we have in the province, very few of them are not supplied by the auto sector Good work done by the sector.”

You can find more information about employment opportunities in the automotive sector on the Alliance’s website.

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