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  • Writer's pictureElliot Fern

Automotive industry survey: Money issues on the rise for automotive industry workers

For the past 7 years I have worked on Ben Automotive's (the charity for the automotive industry) annual health and wellbeing industry survey and the results are in! We surveyed 1,800 people involved in the automotive industry as well as over 1,200 UK workers to compare with.

Here are what I think 5 key findings which highlights the challenges the industry faces.

  1. 1 in 7 automotive workers are thinking of leaving the industry and 87% of those have experienced financial issues

The cost of living crisis has gone on for some time but it shows no sign of easing up - 7 in 10 automotive workers are worried about money, up from 6 in 10 last year. Since the cost of living crisis began, those felling they have been unable to save, budget or those that have gone into debt has steadily increased, the latter by 19% points in the last 3 years. 1 in 6 have skipped a meal up from 1 in 10 last year. And unfortunately those who worry about money are more likely to experience feelings of anxiety, depression and low mood too. We also asked what is likely to have the biggest negative impact on the automotive industry over the next 12 months and 40% submitted that it would be the cost of living crisis.

For UK workers gambling has increased from 2% to 11%. UK workers are also struggling with financial issues too. Debt has increased by 2% points from 15% to 17%, being unable to budget has increased from 11% to 18%, and those being unable to save has too increased to over 1 in 3 UK workers (35%).

2. Over half (56%) have experienced stress in the automotive industry, but figures have fallen by 10% year-on-year

Stress has been the most common issue for a number of waves now in the study. What is most stark is that how much more prevalent it is in the automotive industry than the rest of the UK (42%). This issue is exacerbated further by those struggling with managing their mental health (27%) which amounts to 1 in 4 automotive workers. Again this is much more common than other UK workers at 16%. Around 2 in 3 (63%) of those considering leaving the industry are experiencing stress at work

3. There are different issues depending on the environment worked in

We know the automotive industry is male dominated so perhaps we can make some assumptions about the issues they face. The fact is the automotive industry is broad - people work in offices, at homes, factories, garages, showrooms, yards, auction houses and more. Factory workers are more likely to be personally affected by substance misuse than other automotive workers (11% vs 3%).  Parts department workers are more likely to be personally affected by poor work-life balance than other automotive workers (47% vs 32%).  Office and home workers are more likely to be negatively affected by social media than other automotive workers (18% & 14% respectively vs. 11%). The more we understand the environment, the better employers, the industry and charities such as Ben can help address the issues.

4. 3 in 10 automotive workers sought out no support for their health and wellbeing

99.6% of 1,495 automotive workers said they had experienced an issue that affected their health and wellbeing. Well we are human after all. But we all need support and 3 in 10 sought none. 29% leaned on friends and family, 14% on a colleague and 21% a doctor in the NHS.

5. Automotive employers need to do more than using health & wellbeing as a 'tick box exercise'

Workers repeatedly mention that their automotive employers use health & wellbeing as a tick-box exercise, walking the walk but not talking the talk. There is information available but a lack of concern from senior management. What is notable from the comments is that experiences can wildly vary within the same organisation.

For the full report see here: industry-survey-report-24.pdf (


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