With thousands of workers being ‘pinged’ by the government’s Test and Trace app, the remarketing sector is suffering from staffing shortages, says the Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA).

This issue is highlighting a wider issue of recruitment in the industry, with VRA chair Philip Nothard revealing that members are struggling to find staff to fill long-term positions.

“Obviously, we recognise and support the requirement for self-isolation to curb the pandemic but ‘pinging’ it does create often quite acute staffing issues with no notice. This can affect almost any element of the remarketing industry.

“In addition, there are certainly recruitment issues for long-term vacancies. The shortage of drivers has been making national headlines, with the Road Haulage Association saying 100,000 are needed, but we are also hearing of people struggling to fill all kinds of positions.

“While these problems are not limited to remarketing, and are being felt to differing degrees across the whole economy, we do feel as though they might be quite acute here.”

Nothard said the driver shortage was noticeably affecting a sector that relied on being able to move vehicles across long distances quickly.

“Our view is that the impact of staffing issues on vehicle logistics has been managed relatively well so far but that noticeable effects are quite likely to increase over time. Clients may have to become accustomed to vehicle movements taking longer.

“Really, the underlying issue is that there is no immediate solution to either the issue of self-isolation or long-term staffing shortages. While we all hope that the pandemic continues to recede and falls to a level where its effects are minimal and manageable, there is also a chance that we could return to partial lockdowns.”

Nothard said the situation with long-term vacancies is likely to persist but acknowledges that more people will enter the job market as furlough comes to an end in the next few months. However, there is no guarantee that those interested will have the necessary skills for the remarketing sector.