Our short answer is: yes. Even though electric cars are set to become more common, it’s also true that cars are becoming more complex – and so workshop technicians will always be in demand for fixing brakes, suspension, and the like.
Diesel mechanics will also have a place in the increasingly computerised environment because their skills will remain necessary for marine diesel engines, fixed base diesel engines, and diesel locomotives. Mechanics will also be needed to work on medium and heavy vehicles, which always require maintenance due to the long distances they travel.
It’s also worth remembering that electric vehicles are costly and may be beyond the reach for the majority of South African consumers for some time, which means that the skills of mechanics will remain valid and relevant for some time to come. There is a caveat, however: all industry members must continue to invest in upskilling so that they are equipped to work on the ever more complex and advanced technology present in motor cars.
A quick check-in: How are you doing? Are you managing to balance the stress of reopening with a reduced workforce with financial challenges and, of course, the ongoing anxiety and stress that’s a very real part of this pandemic?
We hope that you are and that you are managing to stay healthy and safe, especially as infection numbers around South Africa seem to be gathering pace.
This newsletter serves as a reminder that your staff members are more than likely battling just as much as you are. Have you checked in with them recently to see how they’re handling their stress? We’ve included some handy tips to help in this regard.
On the subject of help, we’re pleased to announce the launch of a jobs portal to assist Association members who have been retrenched because of the economic decline caused by the lockdown. We trust this will prove a valuable resource for workshops in search of skilled workers, too.
We’d also like to thank the RMI, which has been a major support for our Association over the past few months – at a time when we have needed all the help we can get.
We hope that this newsletter allows you to gain a measure of perspective, and perhaps even assists in planning for the next few months.
Stay safe and healthy.
Pieter Niemand, MIWA National Director