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Overview

This page provides information on the Recreational Vehicles sector which is a component of the Manufacturing industry.

The Recreational Vehicle sector manufactures, repairs, services and retails recreational vehicles and accessories, including motor homes, caravans, camper trailers, slide-on campers and fifth wheelers. It is divided into three sub-sectors:

  • Recreational Vehicles Manufacture
  • Recreational Vehicles Service and Repair
  • Recreational Vehicles Accessories Sales.

Recreational vehicle manufacturing in Australia continues to show strong growth. Over 22,000 units were constructed in 2017, a 2.5% increase on 2016. The number of units manufactured annually, has consistently exceeded 20,000 since 2010.

Vocational education and training (VET) is required for Recreational Vehicle-related occupations such as:

  • Vehicle Body Builders and Trimmers
  • Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Fitters.

Nationally recognised training for the Recreational Vehicles sector is delivered under the MSM – Manufacturing Training Package.

For information on the Process Manufacturing, and Laboratory Operations sectors please visit the respective pages.

Information sourced from the Process Manufacturing, Recreational Vehicle and Laboratory IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

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

IRC and skills forecasts

Employment trends

There is insufficient data on employment in the Recreational Vehicles sector to provide an analysis of employment trends.

Training trends

Training snapshot

There were approximately 180 program enrolments in Recreational Vehicles-related qualifications during 2018, and 20 completions. Enrolments in 2018 returned to similar numbers seen in 2016, following a decline in 2017. Completion numbers have decreased to a similar level seen in 2016, after an increase in 2017. Training was all at the certificate III qualification level. The main intended occupations for the training were Motor Mechanic (General) and Vehicle Body Builder.

All training for enrolments during 2018 was provided by TAFE institutes. Slightly less than 84% of subjects were Commonwealth and state government funded, with the remainder funded via domestic fee for service arrangements. Roughly 45% of students were from New South Wales, with a further 44% from Victoria and 8% from Western Australia.

Close to half of all training was delivered in Victoria (48%), followed by 43% in New South Wales.

During 2018, there were approximately 150 apprenticeship commencements in Recreational Vehicles-related qualifications, a significant increase on the previous year which had around 70 commencements. There were less than 20 completions in 2018, with numbers remaining relatively stable over the last 4 years. During 2018, apprentices were training towards the intended occupations of Motor Mechanic (General) and Vehicle Body Builder. Most of the apprenticeship training activity was reported by Victoria (66%), with 32% in New South Wales (38%).

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

The Process Manufacturing, Recreational Vehicle and Laboratory IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast identified the priority areas for skill development as changing skill needs arising from new technology and from automation and robotics. The top priority industry and occupation skills were identified as compliance with new legislation, vehicle maintenance and repairs and vehicle accessory fitting.

The skills priorities are being driven by changes in the sector that are increasing demand for specific skills in areas including:

  • Technical skills – electrical, plumbing, fibreglass and adoption of new manufacturing processes and materials
  • Advanced manufacturing skills – robotics, 3D printing, virtual reality, holographics
  • Vehicle accessories fitting technical skills – including light automotive mechanical, panel beating/auto dismantling, spray painting and auto electrical, and the fitting of new products/technologies
  • Business related skills – business operations, marketing, compliance and licensing
  • Managerial skills – particularly to improve and oversee new processes
  • Digital skills
  • Generic skills – communication and collaboration, learning and adapting to change
  • Skills in using/adapting to environmentally/sustainable practices to reduce waste, save costs and make better products for the consumer
  • Basic knowledge of 12v, solar, plumbing and repair techniques to ensure the correct information is being provided to customers of sales and repair services.

The top five generic skills identified as particularly important for the Recreational Vehicles sector are:

  • Technology
  • Design mindset/Thinking critically/Systems thinking/Solving problems skills
  • Managerial/Leadership
  • Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) (Foundation skills)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) skills.

Several of the peak bodies representing the Recreational Vehicle sector provide insights that support the skills development needs highlighted in the Process Manufacturing, Recreational Vehicle and Laboratory IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast. The Caravan Industry Association of Australia, the peak national body for the Australian caravan and camping industry, produces a State of Industry report each year and delivers the Recreational Vehicle Manufacturing Accreditation Program (RVMAP), a quality assurance program to promote consumer confidence. RVMAP accredited businesses represent over 90% of major Recreational Vehicle manufacturers in Australia, with 83% of the listed manufacturers located in Victoria. The State of Industry 2019 shows that 93% of Recreational Vehicles manufactured in Australia were towable (caravans, pop-tops and camper trailers) in 2018. To update the Victorian Caravan and Camping Industry Blueprint released in 2012, the Caravan Industry Association Victoria has released a Jobs, Career & Training Strategy. The strategy identifies many challenges and opportunities for the sector, and areas relating to skills needs and development include:

  • Difficulty in recruiting skilled workers, particularly with competition for carpenters, electricians, plumbers and cabinet makers from the construction and mining industries
  • Awareness of the sector as a career option is low and there is a lack of industry-wide career pathways or co-ordination information
  • There is a severe shortage of service and repair workers, complicated by the number of manufacturers and suppliers requiring a diverse range of skills
  • Leadership skills are a priority as business culture increases in importance to workers and may be affecting their retention in the sector.

The Caravan Industry of Australia also reports the passing of the new Road Vehicle Standards Act may prove beneficial to the recreational vehicle manufacture sector as it will prevent imported product that does not meet the Australian Standards and Design Rules for Australian caravanning conditions, and increase consumer confidence in the quality of Australian m vehicles.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

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

  • MSM Manufacturing Training Package
    • MSA20610 - Certificate II in Recreational Vehicle Manufacture
    • MSA30510 - Certificate III in Recreational Vehicle Service and Repair
    • MSA30610 - Certificate III in Recreational Vehicle Manufacture
    • MSM21015 - Certificate II in Recreational Vehicle Service and Repair
    • MSM21115 - Certificate II in Recreational Vehicle Manufacturing
    • MSM31015 - Certificate III in Recreational Vehicle Service and Repair
    • MSM31115 - Certificate III in Recreational Vehicle Manufacturing
    • MSM31215 - Certificate III in Recreational Vehicle and Accessories Retailing
    • MSM41015 - Certificate IV in Recreational Vehicles
    • MSM41115 - Certificate IV in Recreational Vehicle and Accessories Retailing
    • MSM51015 - Diploma of Recreational Vehicles
    • THC20104 - Certificate II in Recreational Vehicle Manufacturing
    • THC20199 - Certificate II in Recreational Vehicle Manufacturing
    • THC20204 - Certificate II in Recreational Vehicle Servicing
    • THC20299 - Certificate II in Recreational Vehicle Servicing
    • THC20304 - Certificate II in Recreational Vehicle and Accessories Retailing
    • THC20399 - Certificate II in Recreational Vehicle and Accessories Retailing
    • THC30104 - Certificate III in Recreational Vehicle Manufacturing
    • THC30199 - Certificate III in Recreational Vehicle Manufacturing
    • THC30204 - Certificate III in Recreational Vehicle Servicing
    • THC30299 - Certificate III in Recreational Vehicle Servicing
    • THC30304 - Certificate III in Recreational Vehicle and Accessories Retailing
    • THC30399 - Certificate III in Recreational Vehicle and Accessories Retailing
    • THC40104 - Certificate IV in Recreational Vehicle Manufacturing
    • THC40199 - Certificate IV in Recreational Vehicle Manufacturing
    • THC40204 - Certificate IV in Recreational Vehicle Servicing
    • THC40299 - Certificate IV in Recreational Vehicle Servicing
    • THC40304 - Certificate IV in Recreational Vehicle and Accessories Retailing
    • THC40399 - Certificate IV in Recreational Vehicle and Accessories Retailing
    • THC50104 - Diploma of Recreational Vehicle Manufacturing.

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 subject 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%.

MSM – Manufacturing Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 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.

Priority and generic skills data have been extracted from the Process Manufacturing, Recreational Vehicle and Laboratory IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

Updated: 03 Feb 2020
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