Instinctually, mechanics problem-solve – it is central to the profession

David Fraser, Group CEO, Capricorn Society Ltd

People come to us with an issue, and it is our job to fix it – to get their vehicle back on the road and to send the customer away happy.
Our industry is certainly grappling with a problem that requires both a specific and an innovative response – the skills shortage.
Capricorn recently surveyed more than 1,800 Capricorn Members across Australia and New Zealand in a bid to understand this problem in more detail. The result is the ‘Capricorn State of the Nation Special Report: The Skills Shortage,’ an entire report which focuses on this issue.
More than half of Capricorn Members (51 percent) said finding good staff was their biggest challenge (up from 39 percent in 2022). Just 44 percent of Capricorn Members said they were adequately staffed. The lack of qualified staff was seen as the biggest challenge for the industry overall (61 percent, up from 50 percent in 2022).
Unsurprisingly, Capricorn Members reported this shortage was having a big impact on their businesses with a backlog of jobs, increased pressure, longer hours, longer turnaround times and reduced productivity all common consequences.
But it is not all doom and gloom. The report also revealed that Capricorn Members who have ever employed an apprentice rose from 64 percent in 2022 to 73 percent in 2023, helping secure the industry’s pipeline of talent. There are also other solutions we are yet to embrace, including sponsoring the immigration of skilled workers.
While the skills shortage is an issue, we are all working to fix it – because that is what we do when we see a problem. You can dive into the report findings at cap.coop/son-23

Yours in cooperation,
David Fraser
Group CEO – Capricorn Society Ltd

For more on Capricorn Society membership, visit www.capricorn.coop