Motor Trade in Urgent Need of More Technicians.

The Ombudsman for the Motor Industry has expressed concern about the growing shortage of qualified technicians in the industry and has called on both government and the industry to give even more attention to addressing the situation.

“It is clear from the cases referred to our office that the shortage of skilled technicians is having an impact on service levels and is leading to excessive “head hunting” in some instances,” says Ombudsman Johan van Vreden. “While many motor companies and trade associations like the RMI are focusing a lot of attention on training technicians their efforts are often frustrated by the poaching of personnel soon after they complete their training”.

“The industry should start thinking along the lines of contracting prospective trainees for a set period after qualifying to ensure that they get value for their investment in these people”.

“Also, very importantly, we need to look at the remuneration of trainee technicians or apprentices in the trade to ensure that we draw the right quality of people. The pay of a matriculated person becoming an apprentice technician does not compare well with school leavers with similar qualifications in most other types of employment. This also leads to technicians being lured away to other jobs for insignificant increases”.

“Technicians form the backbone of a growing economy and qualified people in these sectors need to be valued and not looked down upon for the menial appearance of their occupation. Their contribution to the country’s welfare is enormous,” says Van Vreden.

He added that the growing number of new motor vehicle companies entering the market is placing a lot of urgency on attracting more technicians to the trade and also giving some protection to those companies that are investing in training. More importantly, these jobs and training opportunities should go to South Africans rather than importing these much needed skills.

The Motor Industry Ombudsman of SA can be contacted on (012) 841-2945 or fax your complaint to (012) 841-2842. You can also visit the Ombudsman’s web site at, or e-mail your complaint to

Issued by Ruben Els, Media Ignition, tel: 083 302 6602 on behalf of the Office of the Motor Industry Ombudsman