IMI calls for £15m EV skills investment

The IMI has repeated its plea for government funding to support the training of EV technicians.

It suggests a £15m boost would contribute towards training for up to 75,000 new technicians, insisting this is a modest sum in the context of the £1.9bn investment in the transition to zero emission vehicles committed by government in the 2020 Spending Review

Steve Nash, CEO of the Institute of the Motor Industry. ““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 EV.

“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.”

IMI figures found that as of December 2020 there were 15,428 technicians on the IMI TechSafe Register trained to work on the 380,000 electric vehicles. It expects there the EV car parc to accelerate in numbers to 12.7 million in the next decade.

Nash said: “Working on any form of electrified vehicle requires a completely different set of skills to those needed to work on a petrol or diesel vehicle. Without those skills, serious injury or death is a very real prospect. And we’ve got just over eight years to have a sector that is EV-ready.”

“The government wants the adoption of EV to continue at a pace – the investment in EV charging needs to be matched by an investment in EV skills training to help employers ensure the workforce is EV-ready and electrified motoring doesn’t come at a premium.”