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Time to have your say on a critical gap in the industry

Almost any business owner or technician in the collision repair industry knows getting vehicles back on the road is vital to keep Australia moving.

But there are potentially some in the Canberra corridors of power who don’t realise that the people that make this happen; the panel and paint technicians, body builders and mechanics are also a vital part of the national economy.

And as the collision industry knows, they are in short supply.

This is why feedback from the collision repair industry will be important to how the federal government tackles the skills issues that are hitting the automotive and wider trades-based industries.

But they need this feedback now.

The Federal Government’s Core Skills Occupation List defines the core skills that Australia needs to attract as part of the temporary skilled migration system.

Jobs and Skills Australia has identified roles which are “in” and “out” of the CSOL, but also has a list which is “targeted for consulting”. This means that they are seeking input from relevant industry participants on why they think certain roles should be “in” the list via formal submissions.

Several roles which are important to our industry, such as panel beaters, vehicle painters, vehicle body builders and mechanics are on the “targeted for consultation list”.

The collision repair industry has a significant and ongoing skills shortage in our industry and face daily challenges finding qualified tradespeople.  In a 2023 survey conducted as part of the State of the Nation report it was identified as the number one issue creating difficulties for repair businesses.

But the industry is also committed to attracting people to the industry and developing apprentices to be tradespeople of the future. Multiple repair shop groups have developed successful formal apprenticeship programs that are a pipeline for this future talent. But the supply of qualified technicians takes time, and the skills shortage continues.

Another way many collision repairers have addressed the challenge is to bring qualified tradespeople to Australia from overseas, but many businesses have found the immigration process complex and costly.

The industry has a chance to let the government know how it feels about the skills issue and why these technicians are so important but only for a limited time.

Submissions close on 10 May 2024.

You can read more and make a submission at  Jobs and skills Australia


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