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Automotive sector enjoys popularity surge in the UK

Half of British employees now see the automotive industry as an attractive area to work in, according to research by Randstad.

This makes it the most popular sector in the country. Two of the top three employers (BMW and Rolls Royce) come from the industry. John Lewis came in third place. 

The 9,215 UK workers surveyed voted the pharmaceutical and life science sector the second most attractive, followed by professional services. Business services was seen as the least attractive. 

In the 2011 survey, 36% of people said they saw the automotive industry as an attractive area to work in. This has risen to 50% in 2014. 

Mercedes-Benz UK group HR director Catherine Taylor told HR magazine that producing "an exciting product" people can aspire to is a big draw for employees. 

"Making a tangible product that gives a great customer experience, as opposed to an area like the services sector, is very appealing," she said. "Added to that the automotive industry is very much a growth sector. That in itself is a desirable."

Owen Goodhead, managing director of engineering recruiter Randstad CPE, told HR magazine the technological advances in areas such as Formula 1 have driven the increase in popularity. 

"The automotive sector is re-inventing itself as a technologically advanced manufacturing industry," he said. "It's true that a few years ago there was a perception that a lot of the jobs were being off-shored. Now the jobs are coming back and the indicators suggest they will stay in the long-term."

Goodhead added that the 'Top Gear dividend' has also helped the industry. The last episode of the 20th series – ‘Britain is Great’ – was, effectively, a love-letter to the industry," he said. "Clarkson and co lead the charge in the finale by driving down the Mall in three red, white and blue convertible Jaguars, with huge Union flags billowing from the backs."