EV training lagging behind demand

The Institute of the Motor Industry is predicting a 31% year-on-year drop in EV qualifications for the second quarter of 2023.

According to its EV Technician Forecast Report, the total number of technicians trained to work safely on EVs by the end of the first quarter was 42,400, representing 18% of all technicians in the UK.

However, the number of newly qualified EV technicians in the first three months of this year is actually 10% lower than the same period in 2022.

The IMI believes there are a number of factors contributing to the shortfall in EV upskilling.

As the average age of the UK vehicle parc increases, the time required by technicians working on internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles also rises, reducing available time for retraining on the new drivetrain. The significant skills gap that exists across the sector is also forcing employers to ‘park’ new skills training in order to meet customer demand. Plus, training budgets are being refunnelled into ‘business-as-usual’ operations as employers manage the current economic pressures.

As such, by 2030, the IMI predicts that the UK will require 107,000 IMI TechSafe qualified technicians to meet the evolving demands of electric vehicles. This figure rises to 139,000 by 2032.

Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI, said: “The high level of job vacancies across the automotive sector as well as the economic pressures that mean budgets are being funnelled away from training are a serious cause for concern if the government’s decarbonisation targets are to be met. More electric and hybrid vehicles are joining the UK car parc every day, but the number of technicians trained to safely maintain, service and repair them is simply not keeping pace, creating a real postcode lottery. Urgent attention is required to address the skills gap, enhance training initiatives, and ensure an adequate supply of qualified technicians to meet the evolving demands of the rapidly growing EV sector.”