"Scrapping annual MOTs could cost 50,000 jobs" – Pro-MOTe
Government proposals to end annual MOTs would put at risk up to 50,000 jobs in the retail motor trade disproportionately hitting apprenticeships, young employees and independent businesses, according to new research by Pro-MOTe.
In a report, “An MOT system that works”, Pro-MOTe finds that:
• Almost 150,000 people are employed in the UK as a direct result of MOT testing with 105,000 jobs in 21,000 testing stations and a further 42,000 in tyre and parts businesses
• The retail motor industry employs a higher proportion of skilled workers (38 per cent) compared to the UK as a whole (11 per cent), and a higher proportion of 17 to 24 year-olds with more than 14,000 apprenticeships starting in 2009/10;
• MOT-related activity within the retail motor trade is valued at £2.35 billion. Replacing the current 3-1-1 MOT regime in which cars and vans are tested at three years and every year thereafter to a 4-2-2 system in place in most of the rest of the EU would reduce income from fees and repair work by £1.06 billion;
• A reduction of trade in such a labour-intensive industry would put between 25,000 and 40,000 MOT tester jobs at risk with a further 8,000 jobs in related activity vulnerable too.
The Pro-MOTe report follows its earlier studies that found that reducing MOT frequency would risk causing up to 250 more deaths every year on UK roads and would cost the motorist an additional £57 a year. Recent opinion polls have shown that the proposed changes are not supported by drivers themselves.
Bill Duffy, Pro-MOTe’s co-ordinator, said: “This report sets out a stark picture of what would happen to jobs in the motor trade if the Government moves ahead with its plan to reduce the frequency of MOT testing.
“Pro-MOTe has already shown that reducing MOT frequency is dangerous, expensive and unwanted. It would cause many more road deaths and injuries, and it would cost motorists more in extra insurance and repair costs too.
“And our report today goes one step further by demonstrating the significant cost to British jobs and to the wider economy of reducing MOT frequency. Our study finds that up to 50,000 jobs could be lost, many of them apprenticeships, at a time when the industry is already facing significant pressures as a result of the economic downturn.
“The retail motor industry has been hit hard over the last two or three years. Yet ending annual MOT testing would be a body-blow for a skilled British industry that continues to employ a high percentage of young people and create valuable apprenticeships.
“That Pro-MOTe is winning support from such a wide coalition – from motoring organisations like the AA and RAC, to road safety campaigners, trade bodies and cycling groups – is a reflection of the near unanimous opposition that exists to proposals to reduce MOT frequency.
“The MOT system works – for drivers, for the wider public and for the UK economy as a whole. Changing frequency would be a disaster, and we are calling on Ministers now to rule out frequency change as part of their forthcoming MOT review.”