Automotive industry continues to evolve

One of the parts I love most about the automobile industry is that it’s always evolving. Just as vehicle models are constantly changing, so too are the way our dealerships are run, as well as the career opportunities they offer.

B.C.’s auto industry supports about 45,000 jobs, or about 2.3 per cent of employment in the province.

These are well-paying jobs at our 350 new car dealerships located in more than 50 communities across the province.

Dealership opportunities range from the friendly sales people you see on the floor to the knowledgeable maintenance staff who service the vehicles.

These are great gigs if you’re a car lover, but also if you like people and giving back to the community.

Our employees not only get to spend their day working in and around cars and test-driving new models with our customers, but also are active members of communities across the province.

Through the New Car Dealers Foundation of British Columbia our members donate more than $13 million each year to charities across the province.

The Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the New Car Dealers Association of B.C., was created with a dual purpose: to support students entering automotive industry education programs and to support local charitable organizations.

What’s also exciting, and benefits our communities, is that the number of career opportunities in the industry is growing.

That’s in part because the volume of cars on the road is increasing, as the population expands.

There will also be more job openings in the future as the baby boomer generation of workers continues to retire in our industry, as is the case in most sectors across Canada.

It will be important for the auto industry to attract and retain workers and prevent a serious labour shortage, which is already an issue in some communities.

On the bright side, the face of the industry is changing to include more women and minorities.

This is positive, not only because it reflects B.C.’s multicultural communities, but also because it will continue to draw more people into the auto profession.

More people are recognizing that the auto industry offers viable, long-term and meaningful career opportunities.

While demand continues to be driven by people purchasing and maintaining vehicles, there are constant technological changes that make the career both exciting and challenging.

And, given that people are becoming increasingly mobile in their careers, the growing consolidation of dealer groups provide them with a chance to expand their career not just within the dealership, but also across the province or the country.

Given the growing level of sophistication and complexity in our business over the past while, the auto industry has now become a profession.

Finding the right job is always a challenge, but for anyone who is motivated, enjoys working with people and loves cars, the auto industry might be the perfect fit.

There are several options if you’d like to learn more about educational opportunities in the industry, including through the Industry Training Authority, Automotive Training Centres or the Automotive Business School of Canada at Georgian College in Ontario.

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at [email protected]

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