Invaluable new research provides vital insight

In an industry first, the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA), the Australian Automotive Dealer Association (AADA) and the Motor Trades Association of Queensland (MTA Queensland), have joined forces to address a significant industry issue.
The automotive industry is experiencing extraordinary skills shortages, so understanding the journey undertaken by apprentices is vital to support the sector into the future.
Together, the AAAA, AADA and MTA Queensland commissioned ACA Research to run a comprehensive survey of automotive apprentices.
The findings of this invaluable research will enable the industry, training providers and government to make the changes needed to improve skill development, career pathways and job opportunities.
While some of the findings show young apprentices consider changing careers during their apprenticeship, the vast majority have a passion for and stay in the automotive industry.
This commitment is connected to their initial career drivers and vision for the future through their true love and passion for all-things automotive.
For policy makers there are key opportunities to design closer engagement with fourth year apprentices to educate on options post-qualification.
Eighty eight percent of apprentices have a genuine interest in developing their own knowledge in the newest technologies and overwhelmingly recognise the importance of ongoing learning beyond the completion of their initial qualification.
Students identified extension learning in specialisation areas like hybrid or electric vehicles, programming and diagnostics, assisted driver assistance system technology, or learning business skills to operate a workshop.
The survey provided a great insight into the perspectives of women who work in the automotive industry. There have been significant improvements for women undertaking an apprenticeship particularly as they become familiar with the opportunities available for a long-term automotive career and the successes of other women working in the industry.
“This research shows how technicians become interested in our industry, the journey they take into our automotive workshops and why they stay,” AAAA Chief Executive Officer, Stuart Charity, said.
“What is fantastic about the research is that it contains some very practical insights for our employers, about how to find employees and how to keep them engaged in developing long term careers and high-level skills within our industry. 
“The skills shortage issue is complex, and this research will enable us to work with industry on solutions that will be effective and enduring.”
“Skills shortages are severely impacting Dealerships at the moment and the outlook for the future remains grim,” AADA Chief Executive Officer, James Voortman, said.
“Automotive apprentices are essential, but the fact is that many of them leave the trade early and don’t complete their training.
“It is critical, not just for our members’ businesses but also for our economy that we are able to keep cars and trucks on our roads and we need skilled and qualified tradespeople to do that.
“This study has given us an important insight into the apprenticeship experience which we can use to develop strategies to attract and improve retention of apprentices in the future.”
“The survey has enormous importance for policy making and the AAAA, AADA and MTA Queensland are committed to continuing to work together to improve the apprentice experience so that we keep our future workforce in the automotive industry and support their continuous learning journey,” MTA Queensland Group Chief Executive, Rod Camm, said.

To access the report, please visit