Garage staffing to be decimated by NHS app pings?

Published:  16 July, 2021

Staffing levels in garages over the summer could hit critically low levels, with the number of people being instructed to self-isolate through the NHS COVID-19 app rising rapidly.

A recent analysis of government data performed by The Guardian has suggested that 1.6 million people across England have been told to stay at home through the system in just a week because of contact with a person with a positive diagnosis. Meanwhile, across the UK, 48,553 tested positive on Thursday alone. This was the highest for a single day since mid-January and the start of the third lockdown.

The government has already suggested that the level of positive cases could reach 50,000 by Monday (19 July), when most legal restrictions in England are being lifted, and this is expected to rise to 100,000 per day as the summer rolls on.

A number of garages that Aftermarket spoke to confidentially told us that they already had staff absent due to the need to self-isolate, and the situation could get worse.

Commenting on the trend, Autotech Group CEO Gavin White said: “Undoubtedly, the industry has been feeling the effects of the skills shortages for some time, but this been exacerbated recently by isolating staff and furloughing employees.

“We are witnessing an exponential rise in demand from the industry for our temporary vehicle technicians and MOT testers to cover labour gaps. We have a strong network of contractors, but the majority of these are booked to cover contracts for the foreseeable future, and we are aware that the peak of demand is yet to come with the impending anniversary of the end of the MOT exemption.”

Gavin added: “The aftermarket could take a financial hit every day if they have an empty ramp, so, it is vital that any vehicle technician or MOT tester currently out of work remains within the industry and seeks employment, as the work is out there.”

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