UK Auto Industry Association Looks to Govt for Help to Upskill Technicians For EV Future

As the global automotive industry moves ever onwards to electrification, the need for skilled technicians able to work on these vehicles becomes ever more important. And this is true particularly in countries which have moved swiftly to embrace the technology.

In the UK, the Institute of the Motor Industry – professional association for individuals working in the motor industry – has reported that its data shows that the automotive retail sector does not currently have the skills and the pipeline of talent needed to service and repair electrified vehicles and, in a media statement, repeated its plea for the government to commit funding to support EV skills training. It is suggesting a £15m ($AU28.6m) boost would play a critical role, contributing towards training for up to 75,000 technicians.

According to the IMI, as of December 2020, 6.5 per cent of the UK automotive workforce were qualified to work on electric vehicles – based on a total technician workforce of 237,939 of which 15,428 are registered on the IMI TechSafe Register (accredited to work on electric vehicles). Electric car and van numbers, according to the IMI, is currently in excess of 380,000.

The IMI said that it is estimated that the electric vehicle population in the UK will reach 12.7m in the next decade and the country will need around 75,000 technicians with the skills to work on EVs.

“With just 6.5 per cent of the automotive workforce currently qualified to work on electric vehicles there is a gaping chasm in the availability of technicians. And that chasm not only presents a safety threat for those who may risk working on high voltage vehicle systems without appropriate training and qualifications; it also means the premium on skills could add to costs for motorists, creating another, unnecessary deterrent to the switch to EV,” said Steve Nash, CEO of the Institute of the Motor Industry.

“The government has committed £1.9bn to tackling consumer uptake and charging issues. We are asking that £15m is set aside for employers to access to support their own investment in skills training to get their workforce EV-ready. This will be particularly important for the independent sector.”

Source: Motor Trader e-Magazine (September 2021)

29 September 2021

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