Capricorn State of the Nation
Published on August 13th 2021 in

Capricorn’s State of the Nation 2021

Building a pipeline of talent to address the skills shortage in the automotive industry, is a key issue to emerge from Capricorn’s second annual State of the Nation report. Capricorn, which represents more than 23,000 automotive members throughout Australia and New Zealand, commissioned research company TKP to conduct the research, which found attracting young people to the industry was of serious concern.

While the majority of members run mechanical workshops (72%), a smaller number also operate panel and paint (7%), auto electric (6%), commercial truck (5%) and tyre and suspension (4%). “The automotive industry is dynamic and evolving – cars are literally computers on wheels which makes for an exciting career especially if you’re into gaming or coding,” said David Fraser Capricorn Group CEO. “However, the automotive industry as a collective, needs to have a serious conversation about how it plans on creating a pipeline of talent to address future labour shortages.”

While the report found there were many positives in the industry such as making customers happy, the joy of problem solving and finding a passion working with vehicles, work-life balance was a problem, largely due to a shortage of skilled labour.

“Thanks to government support, 39% of Capricorn’s members currently have an apprentice in their business but many still believe their business is too small to take on an apprentice, which is often just not the case,” added Fraser. “Our members have been working an average of 24 years in the industry and running their own workshop for 17, so now really is the time to consider succession planning, and part of that may include considering taking on an apprentice.”

Between 2016 and 2020, the number of graduate apprentices in the automotive and engineering trades fell 23.2%.

“Our report found that two thirds of members have never been approached by a TAFE-like institution looking for an apprentice, yet three out of five members have been approached by someone who is seeking to start an apprenticeship, so there’s a clear imbalance there.

There’s a lot of government support and registered training schemes available for businesses to access, so if you’ve ever considered it, now is the time to bring on an apprentice and if you’re a young person looking for an exciting career take a look at the automotive industry.”

NCR David Fraser

From 1 October 2021, the existing Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program (AAIP) will be replaced with a new, simplified and streamlined incentives program for employers of apprentices and trainees called the Incentives for Australian Apprenticeships (IAA).

The IAA program offers various payments to employers during the period of an employee’s apprenticeship and is available to employers of any size, industry or geographic location. Final claims for payment must be lodged by 30 June 2023.

“It’s clear that many of our members are in a positive position where they need or would like to take on apprentices and given the government support available to do this, there’s never been a better time to plan for the future,” concluded Fraser.

Look for an overview of the report in the September issue of the National Collision Repairer. To see the full report, visit:

Industry Partners