125% increase in female mechanics since 2011 – WhoCanFixMyCar.com

The number of female mechanics working in the UK has risen by 125 per cent since 2011, accounting for almost 10 per cent of the current workforce. This statistic was released by online car garage and repair marketplace WhoCanFixMyCar.com, which also announced that it will launch a female mechanic awareness scheme, in partnership with its garages, to celebrate International Women’s Day and encourage more women into the field.

Increasing prominence of women could boost UK tyre industry

The increasing participation of women in the UK tyre business has been an emerging theme over the past few years. Encouraged to look beyond its traditionally male-centred workforce by both a shortage of skills and an increasing desire to make the tyre retail experience more palatable to female drivers, there are signs of growing numbers of female workshop staff. The presentation of the 2017 National Apprentice Tyre Technician of the Year Award to Kimberley Locker of STS Tyre Pros (Banbury) is symbolic of such growth.

NTDA chief executive Stefan Hay told Tyres & Accessories: “We are seeing more females coming through the system and were delighted to have two in the shortlist of finalists for the National Apprentice Tyre Technician Award. We have also, over the last two years, started to see applications for REACT licences for female commercial tyre technicians responding to incidents at the roadside.”

Hay added that businesses could look at ways to cultivate female interest in careers in the tyre industry. “On the basis that our industry is suffering from a severe skills shortage, perhaps employers should be thinking about more flexible working conditions and how to make working environments more attractive to women. In Kimberly’s case, she has proven to be an excellent ambassador for apprenticeships, often giving up her own time to give presentations in schools and colleges to young people interested in a career in the tyre retail and automotive aftercare sector. On the basis that she has now been promoted to an assistant manager’s role, I think she more than demonstrates what excellent opportunities are available.”

WhoCanFixMyCar.com asked its garage network if they employed any women as mechanics, and if so how many. Almost a tenth (9 per cent) of the garages and repair centres answered that they employ a female mechanic, compared to just under four per cent in 2011. 93 per cent of garages surveyed indicated a positive impact from their female mechanic team. In response to the survey results and to coincide with International Women’s Day on 8 March, WhoCanFixMyCar.com will launch an awareness scheme for young girls and women, by working with its network of 11,000 garages to find them opportunities. Budding female mechanics considering a move into the industry can register their interest with WhoCanFixMyCar.com here.

WhoCanFixMyCar.com is an online car garage and repair marketplace connecting 11,000 garage and repair centres with drivers around the UK. The site has 1m users and recently processed more than 155,000 quotes through the site in one month.

Alistair Preston, co-founder of WhoCanFixMyCar.com, said: “A recent statistic showed that there are now more female drivers on the road than male in the UK, so I’m not surprised to see that the number of female mechanics is also growing – it’s something we’re delighted to see and it should be actively encouraged.

“We also see time and time again that key decision makers within these businesses are female. They are helping support and grow these businesses as much as anybody.

“What our research shows is that change is happening. There is absolutely no reason why women can’t forge a great career within the industry, they just need the opportunity and encouragement, which is why we’re working with the garages on our platform to employ female apprentices.

“We’re confident that with this approach, in another couple of years we’ll see the number of female mechanics increase again.”

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