Urgent action is needed to address skills shortages and restore necessary political conditions to maintain competitiveness and attract future investment in Britain’s automotive industry, says the Automotive Council.
Britain’s automotive talent is among the world’s most adaptable, with the industry’s long history of engineering excellence and strong labour relations the envy of competing nations, said the Automotive Council.
The second UK Automotive International Competitiveness Report, which ranks the UK’s attractiveness for automotive investment against other European and global countries, places the UK’s automotive labour flexibility in top position in Europe and second in the world behind only the US – an advantage supported by equally strong labour relations.
Workers’ willingness and ability to adapt to changing market conditions is a key strength, providing flexibility within working patterns, vital in this precision, just-in-time industry.
Meanwhile, in line with its strong record on innovation, the report also places the UK sector top in Europe – and second globally – for collaboration with academic institutions.
Britain is home to four of the EU’s five leading universities and, together with government-industry funded institutions, including the Advanced Propulsion Centre and the Catapult network, which help spearhead collaboration in electric and connected and autonomous vehicle development, this is a highly attractive proposition for inward investment.
However, the report also flags risks to future competitiveness, including shortages of skilled engineers, levels of government investment into R&D and declining political stability following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
BREAKING NEWS: Jaguar Land Rover is temporarily laying off 500 of its 1,600 engine plant workers in Wolverhampton, blaming the action on falling demand for its models as the industry experiences a downturn, and Ford is planning to stockpile models in the UK to overcome any possible import delays at ports after Brexit.