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Panelbeater shortage as car numbers rise

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/01/2017
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More cars on New Zealand roads means more collisions and not enough panelbeaters to patch up the dents.

About 600 new panelbeater apprentices are needed over the next three years to meet the demand, Collision Repair Association general manager Neil Pritchard says.

However, the industry is only on track to receive half that number at the moment and has launched a marketing campaign and scholarship programme to attract more recruits.

Although more cars have collision prevention technology, Mr Pritchard says the sheer volume of traffic increased the risk of accidents.

Over the past two years, new vehicle registrations have reached record levels, driven by high net migration and lower fuel prices.

"This year alone, New Zealanders registered about 140,000 new cars, which is the highest ever," Mr Pritchard said.

He said compounding the panelbeater shortage was the potential impact of many baby boomers reaching retirement age and leaving the industry at the same time.

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