This month will see the largest number of MOT’s carried out in any single month since the introduction of twice-yearly registrations in 1999* – bring the lack of skilled, MOT testers to the forefront, as garages are set to buckle under the strain of the backlog.
The recent warning from Kwik Fit, that half a million vehicles will be coming through the industry for MOT testing this month,* follows March 2015, when the introduction of new car registrations were the highest for more than two decades, with 492,774 vehicles hitting the road.
Three years on, these vehicles are due a first MOT Test – and concerns are being raised as to whether garages are equipped with the sufficient manpower to handle this surge in demand.
“March is traditionally a busy time for MOT’s, however the continued growth within the industry will exacerbate the pressure on garages.” Gavin White, MD of Autotech Recruit, the UK’s only specialist agency to supply temporary and permanent MOT testers and technicians, comments. “The need to maintain, and service the vehicles which originally sparked the sales boom in 2015, is now starting, but garages are finding it increasingly difficult to hire skilled workers.”
Back in 2016, the Automotive Council reported a shortage of 5,000 positions across the motor industry, however this figure was largely reported to be in regional pockets of the UK, while in 2017 garages across the whole country were feeling the pinch. “This deficit is set to deepen,” Gavin continues, “and with test records set to be broken this month, garages across the country will be feeling the strain.”
Significantly, if garages have the capacity to run at optimum capacity, but are turning business away due to shortages in technicians, this could mean a loss of up to £12,000 a month in potential profit. Garage owners need to start tapping into the pool of skilled technicians, highly trained and proficient in MOT testing, ready to cover unmanned bays during busy periods on a temporary basis.