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IMI calls for £15m skills funding boost to get technicians EV-ready

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) is calling for a £15 million investment in electric vehicle (EV) technician training from the Government.

It warns that the automotive retail sector does not currently have the skills and the pipeline of talent needed to service and repair electrified vehicles.

The funding boost would, according the IMI, play a critical role in contributing towards training for up to 75,000 technicians.

Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI, said: “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.”

In the context of the £1.9bn investment committed by government in the 2020 Spending Review to supporting the transition to zero emission vehicles for charging infrastructure and consumer incentives, the IMI believes this is a modest figure. 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.

It is estimated that the electric vehicle population will accelerate to 12.7m in the next decade and in order to safely maintain that number of vehicles, the UK will need around 75,000 technicians with the skills to work on EVs

Automotive aftermarket intelligence company GiPA predicts that one-in-five cars on UK roads are expected to use electrified powertrains by 2025.

In January, Nash and IMI president Jim Saker wrote an open letter sent to the Government outling the need for a “concerted, ongoing workforce development strategy”.

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