Shadow skills minister and local MP see how national training provider is leading the way in tackling the major skills gap in Electric Vehicle maintenance in advance of Britain’s roads going green by 2030.
Shadow skills minister Toby Perkins MP and local MP and former Foreign Secretary Dame Margaret Beckett MP, toured the state-of-the-art academies of Remit Training in Derby today to see how the independent training provider is working with leading car and truck manufacturers to answer the urgent need for more young talent in the automotive sector to keep Britain moving and supplied.
The senior politicians were joined on the visit by representatives from Institute for the Motor Industry (IMI) along with manufacturers Volvo Truck & Bus Ltd, MAN Truck and Bus Ltd and IVECO who have all seen, first-hand, the benefits of Remit’s major investment in apprenticeships and other types of technician training.
The guests met apprentices studying Heavy Vehicle Maintenance, Light Vehicle Service and Maintenance, Body & Paint and technicians getting qualified to fill the massive skills gap in Electrical Vehicle (EV) Maintenance for cars, vans and trucks.
According to IMI, only 6% of the current 250,000 technicians in the automotive sector are EV qualified and the country needs 90,000 qualified by 2030 when no more new petrol and diesel vehicles will be allowed on Britain’s roads.
Not enough apprenticeships to meet EV demand
Remit Training expressed concern to Toby Perkins and Dame Margaret that while many employers would prefer to see more apprenticeships as the solution to filling the EV skills gap, a lack of urgency in the government’s response to the issue means that training providers and employers are choosing to turn to alternative EV qualifications instead.
Remit Training is also calling on government to increase apprenticeship funding rates to cover significantly increased operating costs. The costs include higher salaries for tutors when demand for their experience and expertise is soaring.
Remit points out that independent training providers in the automotive sector do not receive any capital funding from government to support the investment in training academies and that even further education colleges are struggling to make training for the sector sustainable. More investment in facilities and up-to-date equipment will dry up if operating costs are not addressed properly by the government-set funding rates for apprenticeships.
Remit also says that faster action is required to introduce apprenticeship standards that are more tailored to meet the demand for EV technicians.
Toby Perkins MP said, “It is wonderful to finally be able to come to Remit and visit the automotive facility in person, after the virtual tour last year as part of National Apprenticeship Week. Labour regard apprenticeships as the gold standard and companies like Remit which provide high-quality apprenticeships are vital to our Covid recovery.
It was also great to have the opportunity to discuss Labour’s proposals to create 100,000 new apprenticeships during the tour. We are committed to ensuring that more young people have the opportunity to undertake an apprenticeship”.
Dame Margaret Beckett MP said “Many years ago, I was fortunate enough to be able to undertake an engineering apprenticeship on the apprenticeship programme of what was then a major employer in the North West in Trafford Park.
It was an experience that I thoroughly enjoyed and from which I have benefitted throughout my life. I am a strong believer in the value apprenticeships can offer both to the individual and to our country”.
Remit Training CEO Sue Pittock said, “We were delighted to have the opportunity to show Dame Margaret Beckett and Toby Perkins how Remit Training and the biggest global brands in heavy vehicles, light vehicle and body and paint are working together to keep the country supplied and ensure that the rapid increase in EV vehicles are properly maintained. Young people from across the UK are coming to Derby to receive high quality training and then go back to share newly acquired expertise in their local areas.
“Rising inflation and increased wages in a highly competitive sector are having a significant impact on the sustainability of automotive apprenticeships. Unless the government acts to fund them better, training providers and employers will have little choice but to reach for commercial training solutions instead.”
Remit Training is currently training circa 1,300 Automotive apprentices at its Derby academies and a further 600 across Wales and Scotland with a new academy just opened in Scotland, a total of 1,900 automotive apprentices in the UK.