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Automotive Mechanical and Specialisation

Overview

This page provides information and data on Automotive Mechanical Specialisation, which is one component of the Automotive industry.

The Automotive Mechanical and Specialisation sector provides light vehicles with service, diagnostic and repair work. The sector also conducts work on:

  • Engine repairs
  • Muffler, brake and exhaust repairs
  • Brake and exhaust repairs
  • Transmission repairs
  • LPG conversions
  • Other repairs.

Nationally recognised training for the Automotive Mechanical Specialisation industry sector is delivered under the AUR – Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package.

For information on other automotive related industry sectors, visit the Automotive cluster page.

Information sourced from the Automotive IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

The main industry class related to the Automotive Mechanical and Specialisation industry sector is Other Automotive Repair and Maintenance. 

Please note however that this industry class also covers other activities besides work relevant to the Automotive Mechanical and Specialisation sector, so the numbers shown here should be seen as indicative only.  

According to the 2016 census data, there were 65,673 people employed in Other Automotive Repair and Maintenance compared with 59,603 in 2011. The main employing occupation in this sector is Motor Mechanics, and in 2016 this occupation formed a little under 60% of employment in this sector. Employment in this occupation is expected to decrease slightly up to 2023.

Occupations in this industry class that are also relevant to the Automotive Mechanical and Specialisation sector are Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Fitters, and Other Miscellaneous Labourers (the Mechanic’s Assistant component) but only form a small component of this industry class. While employment for Other Miscellaneous Labourers is projected to increase slightly up until 2023, employment as Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Fitters is expected to remain fairly steady.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments in Automotive and Mechanical Specialisation-related qualifications decreased over the period between 2015 and 2016, increased considerably to 22,840 in 2017 and then declined back to approximately 20,610 in 2018. Program completions decreased from around 4,820 in 2017 to roughly 4,530 in 2018 (the lowest number of completions recorded over the last four years). In 2018, most of the qualification enrolments were at certificate III level (93%). In addition, 91% of the enrolments were in the qualification cluster of Light Vehicle/Automotive Mechanical Technology. The main intended occupation for the qualification was Motor Mechanic (General).

The delivery of training in 2018 was relatively evenly split between TAFE institutes (47%) and private training providers (46%). There were some variations to training provider type within the different qualifications; TAFE institutes delivered a higher proportion of training for Automotive Cylinder Head Reconditioning (100%) and Other Automotive Mechanical and Specialisation Qualifications (77%), while Automotive Tyre Service Technology was more likely at enterprise providers (59%). More than half of subject funding overall was from the Commonwealth and state government, with a further 33% international fee for service. International fee for service accounted for 53% of funding at private training providers, while 80% of enterprise provider funding was domestic fee for service. Close to one quarter of students were from New South Wales (24%), with many of the remaining students from overseas (23%) and Queensland (20%).

Approximately a third of training was delivered in Victoria (33%), followed by 24% in New South Wales and 24% in Queensland.

Apprenticeship and traineeship commencements decreased overall between 2010 and 2015 (from approximately 8,130 to roughly 4,570), this was followed by a gradual increase between 2015 and 2017, while in 2018 a decline to around 4,980 was recorded. Completions have been steadily declining since the peak of approximately 4,970 in 2014. As at December 2018, completions were approximately half of what they were in 2014. The main intended occupation for the apprenticeships and traineeships was Motor Mechanic (General). One third of training was reported by New South Wales (33%), followed by Victoria (23%) and Queensland (23%).

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET students by industry. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

The Automotive IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast ranks a list of generic skills in order of importance for each industry sector. The top five ranked generic skills for the Light Vehicle sector (which includes Automotive Mechanical and Specialisation) are:

  • Technology use and application
  • Language, literacy and numeracy (LLN)
  • Design mindset/Thinking critically/System thinking/Solving problems
  • Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM)
  • Communication/Collaboration including virtual collaboration/Social intelligence.

There is significant skill demand for fault diagnosis and mechanical and electrical repair of modern vehicle systems, including semi-automatic driving technologies such as park assist, lane departure warning and autonomous emergency braking. As a result, the Automotive IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast highlights that the technical skills required to keep pace with constantly changing and evolving technology is a key focus area for the sector. In addition, as motor vehicles are becoming more advanced, the diagnostic equipment used to maintain them does as well, leading to more sophisticated service and repair roles. It is expected that the rate of technological advancement in the Automotive industry will be faster than ever before in coming years, meaning the workforce will have to continually up-skill and re-skill to remain up to date with the latest technology in motor vehicles.

Another factor impacting on vehicle service and repair, as identified in the Automotive IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast, is a shift in consumer preferences which is being felt across the following areas:

  • Larger, greener and more fuel-efficient cars: Australians are increasingly making vehicle purchase decisions based on environmental impact, fuel economy and value for money. Consumer research has suggested that hybrid and electric vehicles are becoming increasingly attractive alternatives to conventional vehicles. In addition, other research is showing that SUVs are becoming more popular, particularly among baby boomers.
  • Increased variety of transport options: The increased availability of car-sharing and ridesharing services in Australia’s major cities have coincided with an anecdotal suggestion that car ownership is becoming a less desirable financial goal for some Australians. Car-sharing and ridesharing mean the associated vehicles are used significantly more on a day-to-day basis, resulting in more frequent repair and service needs.

Decrease in vehicle servicing, but intensifying competition: Improved vehicle reliability has driven a trend towards more infrequent vehicle servicing, and this expected to continue as technology improves, vehicle utilisation decreases, and the Australian fleet transitions from petrol and diesel towards hybrid and electric. This decrease in service frequency has resulted in increasing competition between dealer-run service centres and independent businesses. As competition intensifies for service and repair work, commercial awareness and relationship management skills will become more and more important for owners and operators.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment, 2018, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2023
    • Motor Mechanics
    • Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Fitters
    • Other Miscellaneous Labourers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, 2006 Census –labour force TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 4 digit ANZSIC
    • 9419 Other Automotive Repair and Maintenance.
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations
    • Motor Mechanics
    • Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Fitters
    • Other Miscellaneous Labourers.                                                                                                                   

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • AUR Automotive Retail, Service and Repair Training Package
  • Automotive Cylinder Head Reconditioning
    • AUR21512 - Certificate II in Automotive Cylinder Head Reconditioning
    • AUR21516 - Certificate II in Automotive Cylinder Head Reconditioning
  • Automotive Tyre Service Technology
    • AUR21912 - Certificate II in Automotive Tyre Servicing Technology
    • AUR21913 - Certificate II in Automotive Tyre Servicing Technology
    • AUR21916 - Certificate II in Automotive Tyre Servicing Technology
  • Automotive Underbody Technology
    • AUR21212 - Certificate II in Automotive Underbody Technology
    • AUR21216 - Certificate II in Automotive Underbody Technology
    • AUR32512 - Certificate III in Automotive Underbody Technology
    • AUR32516 - Certificate III in Automotive Underbody Technology
    • AUR32518 - Certificate III in Automotive Underbody Technology
  • Light Vehicle/ Automotive Mechanical Technology
    • AUR30405 - Certificate III in Automotive Mechanical Technology
    • AUR30612 - Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology
    • AUR30616 - Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology
  • Other Automotive Mechanical and Specialisation Qualifications
    • AUR21316 - Certificate II in Automotive Braking System Technology
    • AUR21616 - Certificate II in Automotive Driveline System Technology
    • AUR20705 - Certificate II in Automotive Mechanical
    • AUR21005 - Certificate II in Motorsport
    • AUR21011 - Certificate II in Motorsport
    • AUR21012 - Certificate II in Motorsport Technology
    • AUR21016 - Certificate II in Motor Sport Technology
    • AUR21312 - Certificate II in Automotive Braking System Technology
    • AUR21412 - Certificate II in Automotive Cooling System Technology
    • AUR21416 - Certificate II in Automotive Cooling System Technology
    • AUR21612 - Certificate II in Automotive Driveline System Technology
    • AUR21712 - Certificate II in Automotive Exhaust System Technology
    • AUR21716 - Certificate II in Automotive Exhaust System Technology
    • AUR21812 - Certificate II in Automotive Steering and Suspension System Technology
    • AUR21816 - Certificate II in Automotive Steering and Suspension System Technology
    • AUR23402 - Certificate II in Automotive (Motorsport)
    • AUR30911 - Certificate III in Motorsport
    • AUR30912 - Certificate III in Motorsport Technology
    • AUR30916 - Certificate III in Motor Sport Technology
    • AUR31311 - Certificate III in Automotive Engine Reconditioning
    • AUR31312 - Certificate III in Automotive Engine Reconditioning
    • AUR31316 - Certificate III in Automotive Engine Reconditioning
    • AUR31612 - Certificate III in Automotive Drivetrain Technology
    • AUR31616 - Certificate III in Automotive Drivetrain Technology
    • AUR32012 - Certificate III in Automotive Alternative Fuel Technology
    • AUR32016 - Certificate III in Automotive Alternative Fuel Technology
    • AUR32402 - Certificate II in Automotive (Motorsport)
    • AUR32602 - Certificate III in Automotive (Motorsport)
    • AUR40202 - Certificate IV in Automotive (Motorsport)
    • AUR40302 - Certificate IV in Automotive (Performance Enhancement)
    • AUR40305 - Certificate IV in Motorsport
    • AUR40312 - Certificate IV in Motorsport Technology
    • AUR40316 - Certificate IV in Motor Sport Technology
    • AUR40405 - Certificate IV in Automotive Performance Enhancement
    • AUR40412 - Certificate IV in Automotive Performance Enhancement
    • AUR40416 - Certificate IV in Automotive Performance Enhancement
    • AUR50202 - Diploma of Automotive (Motorsport)
    • AUR50305 - Diploma of Motorsport
    • AUR50312 - Diploma of Motorsport Technology
    • AUR50316 - Diploma of Motor Sport Technology.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 program enrolments
  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill-sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

AUR Automotive Retail, Service and Repair Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2018 commencements
  • 2010 to 2018 completions 
  • 2018 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2018 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Generic skills data have been extracted from the Automotive IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

Updated: 06 Dec 2019
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