Rising demand for ‘green’ automotive engineers as hybrid get a Government push
With fuel costs on the up and sustainability top of the list for many organisations, automotive manufacturers are investing more money in low-emission hybrid technology. But is the automotive industry prepared for this push and what implications or opportunities will it present for candidates and manufacturers working within the sector?
Catalysts for change
Motor manufacturers have been making headway for some time now, recognising the market opportunity offered by hybrid vehicle technology; Jaguar LandRover have announced hybrid vehicles will roll out in 2013-14. Yet until recently the uptake for these vehicles from consumers and businesses has been slow. Now however, with external forces coming into play, it is likely that we will soon begin to see a surge in demand for this technology and therefore a demand for engineers with a correlating skill.
The skills gap begins
As this area of the market is still in its infancy, there is already a skill shortage within the UK market and a growing need for candidates to up-skill to accommodate their current employer’s impending commercial direction or to become a more attractive candidate for future roles.
Fircroft has already begun building relationships with Electrical Engineers and Engine Engineers with specific skills in the development of hybrid vehicles and currently has a number of roles in this field. However at this stage they are few and far between; potentially due to a lack of drive to pursue training and education within the area during the early stages of career development.
Despite this we’ve noted that a number of graduates are being trained by employers once recruited. As a result of this there is also a demand for more senior engineering candidates to steer any in-house training initiatives or lead projects. We have also seen that current skills gaps are being plugged by overseas candidates, perhaps due to a speedier uptake on electric/hybrid technology in other countries.
Prepare for the future
Furthermore, whilst hybrid and electric vehicle technology needs to be harnessed to build these vehicles, they must also be serviced, fixed, maintained and improved which again produces a knock on effect to a variety of automotive roles involved throughout the life of a vehicle.
For now the demand for these skills is relatively muted, however this is a slow burning issue influenced by external factors beyond the industry’s control, as such clients and candidates alike need to prepare for any inevitable future changes to maintain market presence and value. At Fircroft we make it our business to stay on top of these developments as it helps to refine not only our own offering, but also enables us to offer valuable insight to candidates progressing in their careers and clients looking to expand their talent base.
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