The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) is calling on the government to commit funding to support EV skills training. The IMI says its data reveals that the automotive retail sector does not currently have the skills and the pipeline of talent needed to service and repair electrified vehicles to keep the nation moving safely.
And, says the IMI, the last 18 months have only served to put the sector into reverse in getting itself EV-ready.
Faced with the consequences of an inadequately skilled workforce, the IMI is suggesting a £15m boost would play a critical role, contributing towards training for up to 75,000 technicians.
The IMI believes this is a modest figure, in the context of the £1.9bn investment committed by government in the 2020 Spending Review to support the transition to zero emission vehicles for charging infrastructure and consumer incentives. It would make a significant difference, particularly for the independent sector which doesn’t have the training budgets of the manufacturer franchise network and faces being left behind, with the result that consumers will have less choice.
Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI said: “There’s no getting away from the fact that there are still some big hurdles to overcome to meet the government’s 2030 deadline for the ban of the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles.
“With just 6.5% 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 EVs.”