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Automotive Vehicle Body Repair

Overview

This page provides information and data on the Automotive Vehicle Body Repair sector, which is one component of the Automotive industry.

Activities in the Automotive Vehicle Body Repair sector focus on repair and modification service work for registered vehicles. Activities of workers in the sector include:

  • Vehicle body repair
  • Vehicle refinishing
  • Windscreen repair
  • Automotive trimming
  • Other services.

Most of the businesses in this sector are either sole proprietors or small businesses. The sector is becoming increasingly competitive and complex due to factors such as technological change, the rising cost of imported materials and capital expenditure associated with compliance requirements. As a result of these trends, there has been business consolidation and rationalisation, the adoption of Small and Medium Area Repair Techniques (SMART), and the establishment of partnerships with insurers.

Nationally recognised training for the Automotive Vehicle Body Repair sector is delivered under the AUR – Automotive 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

Census data indicates that there were 36,161 people employed in the Automotive Body, Paint and Interior Repair industry class in 2016. Within this industry class, some of the main employing occupations are Panelbeaters, Vehicle Body Builders and Trimmers, Vehicle Painters, Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Fitters and Car Detailers.

Employment numbers in these occupations varied over the period between 2000 and 2018 but overall have not increased greatly. Similar demand for these occupations is expected to continue up until 2023.

Training trends

Training snapshot

In 2018 there were close to 4,270 program enrolments in Automotive – Vehicle Body Repair-related qualifications, down from the 2017 enrolment numbers of approximately 5,470. Completions have also decreased with 960 recorded in 2018, representing a continuation of the gradual decline in completions that has been occurring since 2015. A significant proportion of enrolments were at the certificate III level (88%).

Just over half of the enrolments in 2018 were for qualifications relating to Automotive Body Repair Technology (52%) with the main intended occupation of Vehicle Body Builder, while a further 39% of enrolments were for qualifications relating to Automotive Refinishing Technology with the only intended occupation of Vehicle Painter.

More than half of the enrolments in 2018 were at TAFE institutes (58%), with most of the remaining occurring at private training providers (41%). There were some variations to this between qualifications, with all enrolments for Vehicle Loss Assessing occurring at private training providers (100%) and all enrolments for Automotive and Marine Trimming Technology taking place at TAFE institutes (100%). The majority of subjects were Commonwealth and state government funded (87%), with the remaining split between domestic fee for service (6%) and international fee for service (7%). Close to a third of students were from New South Wales (31%), followed by Victoria (25%) and Queensland (21%).

The majority of training was delivered in the eastern states, including New South Wales (31%), Victoria (28%) and Queensland (23%).

Apprentice and trainee commencements and completions have both decreased overall between 2010 and 2018. After a slight increase between 2016 and 2017, commencements have declined to approximately 1,340 in 2018. There were close to 610 completions in 2018, down from roughly 700 in 2017. The main intended occupations for these apprenticeships and traineeships were Vehicle Painter and Vehicle Body Builder. Approximately a third of apprenticeships and traineeships were reported by New South Wales (31%), followed by Victoria (27%) and Queensland (19%). 

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 Vehicle Body Repair sector are:

  • Design mindset/Thinking critically/System thinking/Solving problems
  • Communication/Collaboration including virtual collaboration/Social intelligence
  • Language, literacy and numeracy (LLN)
  • Technology use and application
  • Learning agility/Information literacy/Intellectual autonomy and self-management.

The Automotive IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast identifies Vehicle Body Repair as one of the sectors where training components have not yet adapted to advancements in technology. The Vehicle Body Repair sector has been impacted by a range of new technologies which influence the type of skills and knowledge required in this sector, including advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and paintless dent repair (PDR). As a result, a review of Vehicle Body Repair qualifications is underway to ensure training is adapted to technological advancements that are impacting on:

  • More advanced automotive materials and equipment
  • Vehicles and systems that are interconnected and interdependent
  • OEM requirements
  • Changing consumer preferences and increased awareness.

A report prepared by the Economics and Industry Standing Committee in Western Australia has identified two key factors contributing to the contraction of the Australian smash repair industry. Firstly, the continued decline of reportable accidents in Western Australia has in turn driven down demand for smash repairs which creates financial pressure for individual smash repair firms. Secondly, the use of new technologies which allow for quotations to be prepared from digital images as opposed to physical vehicle inspections have created cost barriers, as owning and running these new software systems is becoming cost prohibitive for many owners of smash repair businesses.

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
    • 3241 Panelbeaters
    • 3242 Vehicle Body Builders and Trimmers
    • 3243 Vehicle Painters
    • 8994 Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Fitters
    • 8111 Car Detailers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Employed persons by Occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ08, viewed 1 November 2018 http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202018?OpenDocument

  • Employed total by ANZSCO, 2000 to 2018, May Quarter
    • 3241 Panelbeaters
    • 3242 Vehicle Body Builders and Trimmers
    • 3243 Vehicle Painters
    • 8994 Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Fitters
    • 8111 Car Detailers.

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

  • Employment level by 4 digit ANZSIC  9412 Automotive Body, Paint and Interior Repair industry class.

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 and Marine Trimming Technology
    • AUR32312 - Certificate III in Automotive and Marine Trimming Technology
    • AUR32316 - Certificate III in Automotive and Marine Trimming Technology
  • Automotive Body Repair Technology
    • AUR20905 - Certificate II in Automotive Vehicle Body
    • AUR20912 - Certificate II in Automotive Body Repair Technology
    • AUR20916 - Certificate II in Automotive Body Repair Technology
    • AUR30805 - Certificate III in Automotive Vehicle Body
    • AUR32112 - Certificate III in Automotive Body Repair Technology
    • AUR32116 - Certificate III in Automotive Body Repair Technology
    • AUR40712 - Certificate IV in Automotive Body Repair Technology
    • AUR40716 - Certificate IV in Automotive Body Repair Technology
    • AUR40718 - Certificate IV in Automotive Body Repair Technology
  • Automotive Glazing Technology
    • AUR32212 - Certificate III in Automotive Glazing Technology
    • AUR32216 - Certificate III in Automotive Glazing Technology
  • Automotive Refinishing Technology
    • AUR32412 - Certificate III in Automotive Refinishing Technology
    • AUR32416 - Certificate III in Automotive Refinishing Technology
  • Vehicle Loss Assessing
    • AUR40511 - Certificate IV in Vehicle Loss Assessing
    • AUR40512 - Certificate IV in Vehicle Loss Assessing
    • AUR40514 - Certificate IV in Vehicle Loss Assessing.

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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