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IGA welcomes focus on independents providing skilled EV technicians

posted on 21/12/2022
IGA welcomes focus on independents providing skilled EV technicians

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has welcomed the spotlight shone by the Social Market Foundation (SMF) on the central importance of the UK independent garage sector in ensuring the future mobility of the UK.

SMF research aims to stimulate discussion on public policy issues. Their recent report ‘A vehicle for change: Upskilling the UK’s technicians to service and repair electric vehicles’ considers the need to transition from internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) to hybrid and electric vehicles (HEVs) as part of the government's net zero target.

The IGA was consulted during the researching of this report earlier this year and now welcomes the report’s findings. There is a warning of a likely shortage of over 25,000 EV trained technicians by 2030[i] unless the government acts.

“The report clearly identifies the central importance of independent garages in ensuring consumers can access good quality cost-effective HEV services as volume grows,” said Stuart James, Chief Executive of the Independent Garage Association (IGA). “The authors have also explicitly recognised the need for policymakers to support UK independent garages.”

The SMF identifies a number of root causes for skills shortages; these include recruitment challenges, barriers to reskilling and capital investment constraints[ii].

The author further warns vehicle manufacturers’ ‘increasing computerisation of cars and efforts to monopolise the aftermarket’ are ‘key concerns’[iii]. The report recommends a renewed block exemption[iv] and specific incentives[v] to protect the independent sector’s ability to compete on fair terms.

EV transition is however framed as a ‘unique opportunity’ to create high skilled ‘green jobs’ based on electrical and computer knowledge rather than mechanical skills.

“We hope this report can inform policymakers,” said Stuart. “Government needs to help the sector address the shortfall of skilled technicians as well as investing in the infrastructure to cope with the upcoming EV revolution.”

The report finds that between 2006 and 2021 the ‘number of UK technicians has declined by 30%’[vi] from nearly 203,000 to 141,700.

Garages wishing to keep up to date with the work of the IGA can visit https://independentgarageassociation.co.uk/news/.

*Article Source www.rmif.co.uk

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