A “grey tsunami of retirement” is about to wipe out thousands of jobs in the British Columbia auto industry, warns Blair Qualey, president of the B.C. New Car Dealers Association.
The results of a labour market study commissioned by the B.C. Automotive Sector Alliance (BCASA) show the industry needs to hire 20,000 people over the next decade to offset retiring salespeople, administrators, technicians and more, says Qualey.
For example, the average age of a repair technician in B.C. is estimated to be 55, the study found.
“Some members say they’re facing a loss of half their [technician] staff,” Qualey told Automotive News Canada. “We have a lot of older folks working and in some circumstances some of them can stay on.
“But if you’re a repair technician and you’re 55, you’re at the end of the job cycle just due to the physical nature of the job.”
Qualey is sounding the alarm to anyone who will listen.