- In order to meet Net Zero carbon commitments the UK needs to invest in technologies for electrification, meaning many employers and employees will need to up-skill, re-skill and new-skill to meet the demand
- A national approach to re-skilling, up-skilling and new-skilling the workforce for the electric revolution has been established by WMG, University of Warwick alongside the Faraday Institution and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult in their report: ‘The Opportunity for a National Electrification Skills Framework and Forum’
- The report emphasises the need for education providers to collaborate on offerings, industry to define their needs, and enables training providers and employers to collaborate on the development of courses required to enable workforces to meet the challenges of the electric revolution and put the UK in a position as a world leader
New technologies and a skilled workforce are both essential to meet the challenge of net carbon zero. To ensure the UK is ready for the transition, a new skills framework has been created by WMG - University of Warwick, The Faraday Institution and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.
The Government’s plan to ban sales of new diesel and petrol cars by 2030 has pushed the automotive sector, along with many others, to rapidly adopt, and develop, electrified products at a rate that will continue to increase for the next 10 to 15 years. How transport and utility sectors can re-skill, up-skill and new-skill their workforce to meet skills demand at the point of need has been outlined in ‘The Opportunity for a National Electrification Skills Framework and Forum’, authored by WMG, University of Warwick; the High Value Manufacturing Catapult; and the Faraday Institution.
Aimed at employers, training providers, accrediting organisations and learners the report discusses how industry engagement, along with educational collaboration rather than competition, will be key in putting the UK at the forefront of the electric revolution and securing future work opportunities.
The Framework recommends the use of short and long courses, as well as continuing professional development, to deliver the competency sets to meet electrification goals across a range of sectors. The framework currently considers vehicle electrification as well as battery manufacture, power electronics, motors and drives, and learnings will next be extended to rail, aviation and utilities.
Through engagement with industry participants and educational providers, the report identifies the key principles and skills needed to make the UK a world leader in electrification. By re-skilling, up-skilling and providing routes through from education to enable new-skills, employees can progress in their career and companies provide a viable way of managing and developing the skills of workforces in line with business objectives.
In order for the UK to successfully transition to an electrified and Net Zero future it is essential that all aspects of industry and education collaborate. The forum provides an opportunity for not only different companies from multiple sectors to work together, but also for training providers across the UK to collaborate and crystallise the need for training, enabling the right courses to be offered at the point of need. Overall the forum will help create skills development opportunities, and make the electric shift as smooth and sustainable as possible.
Professor David Greenwood, CEO of WMG High Value Manufacturing Catapult at the University of Warwick comments:
“Electrification of automotive and aerospace industries, as well as the establishment of UK battery production facilities (gigafactories) represents a considerable industrial opportunity for the UK and one where having a workforce with the required skills and capabilities will be essential for the nation to compete successfully on the European stage.
“As these sectors transform to fully electric products, we have a proposed national plan for electrification skills, through which we will define a framework to deliver a workforce with the required skills and capabilities to deliver the sectoral technology roadmaps. This focus will be essential for the sector to develop thrive in a highly competitive global industry.
“We are proud to launch this forum, through which the electrification skills framework will be shaped by the wisdom and direction of automotive technologists, educators, accrediting bodies and training providers. It will provide a framework for a national skills programme, delivering at a regional level according to industrial need.”
Tony Harper, the Director of the Faraday Battery Challenge at UK Research and Innovation comments:
"UK industry is undergoing an exciting and rapid transformation to fulfil the UK Government’s 2050 Net Zero commitments. This once-in-a-generation, global technological revolution leaves competency gaps at all job levels, particularly in engineering and manufacturing roles which will need to be filled with specific education and training.
“We are pleased to make available a UK-wide framework and forum to ‘re-skill, up-skill and new-skill’ the UK engineering and manufacturing workforce, a major step forward to ensuring the right skills are in place at the right time.
“Our report defines the training and investment in people, education and skills that will allow the UK to Build Back Better and secure greener jobs in a flourishing UK electrification sector.”
Business Minister Lee Rowley said:
“We are leading the world in developing the latest technology in electric vehicles and today’s report demonstrates the work that employers and industry organisations can collaborate on to keep the UK in that pole position.
“This revolution in our automotive sector will create thousands of jobs, building on our rich industrial heritage and giving opportunities to our talented and highly-skilled workforce – all this will be essential as we work to eliminate our contribution to climate change by 2050.”
The report ‘The Opportunity for a National Electrification Skills Framework and Forum’ will be available online from 22 September at: https://hvm.catapult.org.uk/reports/national-electrification-skills-framework
Information on course materials will be available from 22 September at: https://hvm.catapult.org.uk/resources/courses
22 SEPTEMBER 2021
NOTES TO EDITORS
To get involved in the electrification skills forum as a provider or employer please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
High-res images available at:
Caption: The National Electrification Skills Framework and Forum aims to support new technologies and a skilled workforce in transport, battery manufacturing, and beyond.
For further information or an embargoed copy of the report please contact:
Mob: +44 (0) 7824 540863
About WMG, University of Warwick
WMG is a world leading research and education group, transforming organisations and driving innovation through a unique combination of collaborative research and development, and pioneering education programmes.
As an international role model for successful partnerships between academia and the private and public sectors, WMG develops advancements nationally and globally, in applied science, technology and engineering, to deliver real impact to economic growth, society and the environment.
WMG has a track record of impact and collaborative R&D in batteries, through their Energy Innovation Centre. A unique UK facility which is capable of producing full-size prototype battery cells in sufficient quantities for industrial testing. The Centre is focused on identifying and demonstrating battery chemistries with higher energy densities and improved safety while achieving the cost criteria set by the automotive industry. This technology is transferred to other sectors including, aerospace, marine, rail and static energy storage for home applications.
WMG’s education programmes focus on lifelong learning of the brightest talent, from the WMG Academies for Young Engineers, degree apprenticeships, undergraduate and postgraduate, through to professional programmes.
An academic department of the University of Warwick, and a centre for the HVM Catapult, WMG was founded by the late Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya in 1980 to help reinvigorate UK manufacturing and improve competitiveness through innovation and skills development.
About the Faraday Institution
The Faraday Institution is the UK’s independent institute for electrochemical energy storage research, skills development, market analysis, and early-stage commercialisation. Bringing together expertise from universities and industry, the Faraday Institution endeavours to make the UK the go-to place for the research and development of new electrical storage technologies for both the automotive and wider relevant sectors.
The Faraday Institution is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of UK Research and Innovation. Headquartered at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, the Faraday Institution is a registered charity with an independent board of trustees.
The Faraday Battery Challenge aim is to develop and manufacture batteries for the electrification of vehicles to help UK businesses seize the opportunities presented by the move to a low carbon economy. The challenge is split into three elements: research, innovation, and scale-up.
About High Value Manufacturing Catapult
The High Value Manufacturing Catapult has an established record as the UK’s principal agent of industrial transformation. Working through seven centres of innovation, the HVM Catapult is creating the conditions for UK economic growth by enabling UK manufacturers to investigate new technologies and processes and achieve performance and productivity improvements through innovation.
Established by Innovate UK, the HVM Catapult bridges the gap between business and academia, helping to turn great ideas into commercial realities by providing access to world-class research, development facilities and expertise that would otherwise be out of reach for many businesses in the UK. The HVM Catapult prides itself on helping businesses to transform the products they sell, the way they make them and the skills of their workforce to remain competitive in a global marketplace.
22 September 2021