Thursday 20 October 2016

Motor industry top dogs earning €100,000 as skills shortage crisis worsens

* Every dealership 'looking to recruit' according to expert
* Women may account for 20pc of workforce

Published 10/02/2016 | 02:30

Thousands of drivers are set for a payout
Thousands of drivers are set for a payout
Suzanne Sheridan

Some senior sales executives are earning €100,000-a-year as the motor industry skills shortage crisis sends salaries spiralling.

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There are currently 500 vacancies across the industry and the number is expanding by the week - making it a job-seekers' market.

Motor industry recruitment expert and 'Start Monday Ltd' founder Suzanne Sheridan (pictured) told 'Independent Motors' this week: "It is not without exaggeration to say that every dealership and manufacturer in the country are at least exploring the possibility of hiring people in 2016.

She added: "We are actively engaged with several businesses who, for the first time in several years, are trying to source candidates."

With new-car sales increasing rapidly - they soared to nearly 40,000 last month - and with good prospects for further growth this year the amount of work for skilled staff, ranging from technical to financial as well as apprentices is expanding by the day.

Given that every 1,000 new cars sold is reckoned to create around 130 or so additional jobs right across the industry, the increased need for personnel can be gauged if we just take January sales alone.

They were up 10,000 on the corresponding month in 2015.

Each new-car sale has a ripple effect as there is usually a trade-in to be repaired, serviced and prepared. And its sale may involve another trade-in.

Ms Sheridan says that 2016 is quickly turning into a 'candidate's market'.

She says there is evidence to suggest that experienced automotive professionals are in a "very strong position" to negotiate terms with employers following a successful interview.

"It is not unheard of for senior sales executives to be earning €100,000 per annum while after-sales specialists, senior marketing/CRM specialists and senior accountants are also in a very strong position."

She calculates that there are more than 500 vacancies across the industry at the moment.

"This has sparked a huge interest among people looking to take an upward step in their career."

A lot of significance is being attached to what is regarded as an upsurge in the number of women working within the industry.

According to Ms Sheridan it could reach 20pc this year if current trends continue and that would be a first in the history of the business.

There is also a steady influx of returning immigrants, many of whom, Ms Sheridan says, have received 'world class training' in dealerships across the UK, Australia and the Middle East.

The 'Irish Independent' reported last month on how the skills shortage has grown so acute that dealers are paying for prospective employees to be flown home for interviews.

Some of these were from as far away as Australia.

But there is more to it than money, according to Ms Sheridan. "While many returning immigrants are lured by the prospect of a lucrative salary, many of them are driven by the prospect of raising their families back home."

* Irish dealers and distributors are not alone in having a skills shortage. Up to 5,000 positions in the UK automotive industry could be vacant due to a shortage affecting the sector over there, according to a new report published by the Automotive Council.

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