A recruitment drive by auction and classifieds site Car & Classic highlights the breadth of new skills needed in the classic sector. Roles are being created in areas that aren’t just in workshops – but they span marketing, finance, legal, sales and creative skills for a sector that continues to grow. According to the FBHVC’s latest report (2020), the spend on historic vehicles has increased by more than 30% – from £5.5bn to £7.2bn – in the last five years.
The online marketplace has grown significantly over the past three years. A recent discussion between the Historic and Classic Vehicles Alliance (HCVA) in the UK and its French contacts in the same sector found that the average age of owners and enthusiasts is getting younger – it has reduced from 58 to 54, due to the adoption of classic cars by younger generations.
‘We have reported an increase in interest from school leavers and newly-graduated people entering the industry,’ says Merlin McCormack of classic car dealer Duke of London. ‘It is rewarding to see fresh blood being injected in a segment traditionally concerned with finding new generations to pass existing knowledge to.’
Duke of London merges traditional Classic Car services like Sales, Service and Restoration with a thriving social media community and a creative hub where influencers, events and creatives come together. It is a field in which young people move comfortably, bringing a traditional business to modern platforms.
Merlin and his team demonstrate how the classic car industry is changing: on-site events like Classics & Cake and off-site events like Duke’s Hillclimb, held at Shelsley Walsh, show that passion for classic motoring is still alive and well, and being brought forward into the modern age via Instagram and other social media.
These are feelings shared by HCVA Founding Partner and Pendine CEO James Mitchell: ‘We have an enthusiastic young team that is learning daily more about each of the magnificent vehicles we buy and sell on behalf of our customers and is a real asset to the sector, the vehicles and customers and our business.’
Emma Crickmay of Frank Dale & Stepsons, one of HCVA’s Founding Partners, could not have put it better: ‘It is absolutely vital we take steps to preserve jobs and encourage new generations into pursuing fulfilling careers in our industry. It is so important that conditions are created that allow us to develop training programmes, support skills transfer and boost diversity. We are very keen to see a boost in apprenticeships – it’s investment in the future.’
A recent survey by the HERO-ERA organisation estimates that the turnover of the whole classic and historic vehicle sector is over £18bn and supports 113,000 jobs. This constitutes about a fifth of the size of the whole heritage sector in the country.
- Car & Classic is recruiting for more team members. You can find details on its career page.