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Automotive Mechanical Heavy

Overview

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

This industry sector provides repair and service work for heavy vehicles. Key segments of this industry sector include:

  • Mobile plant machinery (in mining and construction)
  • Heavy commercial vehicles (road transport)
  • Agricultural machinery.

There has been increased uptake of electronic technology components in trucks and commercial vehicles which will require more advanced capabilities within the sector and new safety requirements.

Nationally recognised training for the Automotive – Mechanical Heavy 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 most recently available Skills Forecast, the Automotive IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

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

IRC and skills forecasts

The Automotive IRC was not required to submit an annual update to their 2019 Skills Forecast during 2020. As such, the version published in 2019 remains the most recently published Skills Forecast for this industry.

Automotive Heavy Vehicle Industry Reference Committee

Employment trends

Please note: any employment projections outlined below were calculated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics prior to COVID-19.

Employment snapshot

There are two main industry classes relevant to the Automotive – Mechanical Heavy sector. These are:

  • Other Automotive Repair and Maintenance
  • Other Machinery and Equipment Repair and Maintenance.

Numbers employed in the Other Automotive Repair and Maintenance industry class were approximately 65,600 according to the 2016 census, up from 59,600 in the 2006 census. In the other class, employment numbers remained reasonably static between the two census periods at approximately 26,400.

Please note however that these industry classes also cover other activities besides work relevant to the Automotive – Mechanical Heavy sector, so the trends shown here should be seen as indicative only.

The two main occupations in these industry classes relevant to Automotive Mechanical Heavy are Motor Mechanics and Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Fitters. Motor Mechanics form by far the greatest portion of the two industry sub-sectors. Employment levels for Motor Mechanics are expected to decrease slightly until 2024, while levels for Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Fitters are predicted to increase slightly during the same period.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Both program enrolments and completions Automotive – Mechanical Heavy-related qualifications increased between 2018 and 2019, with approximately 10,910 enrolments and 2,380 completions recorded in 2019.

All program enrolments in Automotive – Mechanical Heavy-related qualifications were at the certificate III level, with more than half (54%) of enrolments occurring within the qualification cluster of Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology, followed by Mobile Plant Technology (36%). The main intended occupation was Motor Mechanic (General).

More than 70% of the training in 2019 was delivered by TAFE institutes, followed by private training providers (24%). Overall, 75% of Automotive – Mechanical Heavy-related qualifications were Commonwealth and state funded, with the remainder relatively evenly split between domestic fee for service (13%) and international fee for service (12%).

In 2019, the highest proportion of program enrolments in this sector were by students residing in New South Wales (29%), followed by Queensland (20%), Victoria (18%), and Western Australia (15%). The majority of training was delivered in New South Wales (27%) and Victoria (24%), followed by 23% in Queensland and 14% in Western Australia.

There were approximately 3,420 apprentice and trainee commencements and roughly 1,520 completions in Automotive – Mechanical Heavy-related qualifications in 2019. Commencements have continued to increase, recording the highest level since 2010, while completions have declined from the peak of around 1,740 in 2017. Almost all the apprenticeships had the intended occupation of Motor Mechanic (General). The largest proportion of apprenticeships and traineeships were reported by New South Wales (32%), followed by Western Australia (20%), Queensland (18%) and Victoria (17%).

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 Heavy Vehicle sector (which includes Automotive – Mechanical Heavy) are:

  • Language, literacy and numeracy (LLN)
  • Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM)
  • Design mindset/Thinking critically/System thinking/Solving problems
  • Learning agility/Information literacy/Intellectual autonomy and self-management
  • Technology use and application.

The Automotive IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast indicates that sustained industry activity from key users of commercial vehicles, such as construction and mining, has led to increased commercial vehicle utilisation which in turn supports the demand for the allied sectors of servicing and repairs. As growth is forecast in the areas of mining and heavy construction (including mobile plants), heavy road transport and commercial vehicle utilisation, it is expected that jobs and skills demand in heavy vehicle-related sectors will be strong over the coming years. The Resource Industry Training Council’s (RITCWA) 2020 Mining/Oil and Gas Industry Snapshot states a number of mining companies and contractors servicing the industry continue to report a tightening of the skilled labour market for trades – particularly experienced heavy-duty diesel fitters/mechanics. The report also notes key maintenance roles such as diesel fitters/maintainers and electrical roles will require upskilling with a greater focus being placed on data related skills.

The Automotive IRC’s 2017 Skills Forecast indicated that technological change is impacting this sector. Changes include the advances in repair technologies, the use of guidance and telematics systems, and extra safety requirements due to engaging with work on hybrid electrical componentry.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2020, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2024
    • 3212 Motor Mechanics
    • 8994 Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Fitters.

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
    • 9429 Other Machinery and Equipment Repair and Maintenance.
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations
    • 3212 Motor Mechanics
    • 8994 Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Fitters.

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
  • Agricultural Mechanical Technology
    • AUR30412 - Certificate III in Agricultural Mechanical Technology
    • AUR30416 - Certificate III in Agricultural Mechanical Technology.
  • Diesel Technology
    • AUR31412 - Certificate III in Automotive Diesel Fuel Technology
    • AUR31416 - Certificate III in Automotive Diesel Fuel Technology
    • AUR31512 - Certificate III in Automotive Diesel Engine Technology
    • AUR31516 - Certificate III in Automotive Diesel Engine Technology.
  • Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology
    • AUR31112 - Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology
    • AUR31114 - Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology
    • AUR31116 - Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology.
  • Mobile Plant Technology
    • AUR31212 - Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology
    • AUR31216 - Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology.
  • Other Automotive Heavy Qualifications
    • AUR30605 - Certificate III in Automotive Specialist
    • AUR30611 - Certificate III in Automotive Specialist
    • AUR30899 - Certificate III in Automotive (Mechanical - Heavy Vehicle Road Transport)
    • AUR31712 - Certificate III in Forklift Technology
    • AUR31716 - Certificate III in Forklift Technology
    • AUR31812 - Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Trailer Technology
    • AUR31816 - Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Trailer Technology
    • AUR31912 - Certificate III in Elevating Work Platform Technology
    • AUR31916 - Certificate III in Elevating Work Platform Technology
    • AUR32613 - Certificate III in Automotive Tyre Management
    • AUR32616 - Certificate III in Automotive Tyre Management.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

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

  • 2015 to 2019 program enrolments
  • 2015 to 2019 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 2019 commencements
  • 2010 to 2019 completions
  • 2019 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2019 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: 17 Dec 2020
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