According to new analysis from the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), 90,000 automotive technicians will be required to provide sufficient workforce to service the volume of zero-emissions vehicles predicted to be on UK roads by 2030 – the government’s Road to Zero deadline.
While the automotive sector has identified this requirement and is working hard to retrain and upskill automotive technicians, the professional body is predicting that there will be a shortfall of 35,700 technicians by 2030, with 2026 marking the point at which the skills gap will become evident.
Steve Nash, CEO of the Institute of the Motor Industry »
As of 2020, there were 15,400 qualified TechSafe technicians in the UK. That number represents just 6.5% of the UK automotive sector and was already giving us cause for concern. Our new analysis paints an even more challenging picture.
The pace of EV adoption is accelerating, even while the issues around infrastructure remain a barrier. Once the charging network is fit for purpose, combined with electric vehicles becoming more financially accessible, the next big challenge will be how to ensure we have a workforce adequately qualified to provide the essential servicing, maintenance, and repair to keep these vehicles safe on the roads. And that’s where we believe government attention – and funds – should be focused now.
Whether it’s looking at incentives to retrain the existing workforce, or ensuring that school-leavers and people changing the direction of their career are excited about the prospects of working in such a fast-moving sector, there needs to be a mind-shift in how to fix the widening skills gap. Significant investment is being ploughed into infrastructure, but the government still seems to be ignoring the fact that without a skilled workforce, it will fail in its decarbonisation ambitions.
Using the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) upper scenario on EV adoption, the IMI predicts that the number of qualified technicians required by 2030 is 90,000. As of 2020 there were 15,400 qualified, and using current forecast trends, by 2030 there could be a shortfall of 35,700 qualified technicians, risking the safety of technicians and undermining confidence that electric vehicles can be serviced, maintained, and repaired by a garage with the right skills.