As vehicle electrification grows, jobs in the bays will be impacted, a panel of experts agreed. But there may not necessarily be a loss of jobs, but a call for different skills for new jobs.
A panel of speakers were asked at Centennial College’s recent Driving the Future 2.0 event about what the future of technician jobs was going to look like as electric vehicles grow. With fewer parts and components to work on, how concerned should the industry be?
“We’re going to definitely eliminate some of the more simpler jobs, for lack of a better term,” observed Rob Morrison, Canadian fixed operations manager at Phaff/Lithia.
With electrification, oil and changes will go by the wayside, he noted as an example. Instead, being able to work with electrification will be a required skill set beyond what you find in many bays these days.
“We’re talking about battery repairs and battery specialists, high voltage experts; we’re talking about the ability to work on incredibly complex and advanced vehicles and systems,” Morrison added.
He brought up LiDAR and radar — it’s hard enough to understand how they work, let alone fix it. But technicians need to know.
“That’s what’s changing,” Morrison said. “This is an incredible lift in the skill set and to recognize that that skill set is of value.”
David Cochrane, regional sales manager at Delphi, said there will be many new jobs popping up. He pointed to a company that is doing ADAS calibrations. Being able to do this type of work is fairly new.
“So there is a shift, but there’s still going to be a large amount of positions available,” he added.
Pierre-Hugues Comiré, regional field technical manager at Hyundai Canada, agrees there will be a shfit — there won’t be less work, just different work. Technician jobs will be replaced by a different type of position.
Careers lost by the reduction of jobs related to ICE vehicles “will be made up by analytical thinking skills needed for diagnosing networks, for dealing with electrification and driver assistance technology that’s in vehicles,” he said.
On the collision side, Chris Chinn, network operations manager at Consolidated Collision Services, pointed out that he hasn’t seen a robot yet that can do bodywork.
“I shouldn’t say technology’s not going to change it, of course, it will in terms of the capabilities, but you’re still going to need the hands-on technicians to actually repair the cars. Because there’s just no way that machines can do bodywork,” he said.
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