Colleges launch pioneering electric vehicle facilities

Two Cornish colleges are helping to drive forward the research and training of electric vehicle technicians in the UK, with a range of innovative new courses and cutting-edge laboratories.  

Truro and Penwith College and The Cornwall College Group (TCCG) are working in partnership to deliver the £2.4 million Skills Accelerator project, which will focus on curriculum and skills development in the electric vehicle and emerging green technology industries for Cornwall’s businesses and workforce of the future.  

Principal of Truro and Penwith College Martin Tucker said: “The unique facilities being delivered as part of the Skills Accelerator project bring the emergence of electric and hybrid vehicles full circle. Cornish businesses now have the means to upskill their workforces, train new people and show their commitment to zero-emission motoring. It‘s also the lynchpin for an exciting collaboration between key education and industry partners, all of whom will help bring about further innovations in technology and sustainability contributing to this sector’s future growth.”  

Currently only around three per cent of all vehicle technicians in the UK are trained on electric vehicles and this has an ongoing impact on the ability to maintain and repair them. Courses on offer as part of the project include a Level 1 award in electrical/hybrid vehicle awareness, Level 2 award in electrical/hybrid vehicle hazard management, Level 3 award in electrical/hybrid vehicle system repair and replacement, and a Level 4 award in diagnosis, testing and repair of electric/hybrid vehicles and components. 

“The automotive industry is changing at such a pace,” added John Evans, Principal and CE of TCCG.

“We must make sure we embrace new technologies, so they influence the way we train and upskill the next generation of auto technicians in Cornwall. Both Colleges are investing their project money into creating new electrical vehicle workshops, learning labs, filled with the latest electric vehicle equipment and virtual learning platforms for our students.” 

  With the Government’s plan to ban the manufacturing of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 and the sale of hybrids being outlawed from 2035, the automotive sector is about to go through one of the most significant changes to transportation since the emergence of the combustion engine. 

 “The automotive industry is very close to my own heart, as it’s where I started my own journey into industry and education,” added John.

“Together we want to create a hi-tech learning and training environment that gives all of our students the very best opportunities to be ready for their place in this changing world of work.”  

Working closely with local automotive employers, the colleges are creating a new vision for electric vehicle training by creating new training centres at their Truro, Penwith, Camborne and St Austell campuses. 

 New workshops, laboratory environments and virtual learning platforms will spearhead a new approach to traditional motor vehicle training and will put Cornwall at the forefront of training opportunity for the future. 

More details and information for prospective students and prospective employer partners can be found at www.truro-penwith.ac.uk or www.cornwall.ac.uk. 

TCCG will be launching a new range of electric vehicle courses in conjunction with the Institute of Motor Industry from July 2022, and will add electrical vehicle training free of charge to all their motor vehicle apprenticeships at St Austell and Camborne campuses.

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