NESCol driving skills agenda with new electric and hybrid vehicle courses

June 13, 2022

The first group of technicians to complete new courses tailored to electric and hybrid vehicle maintenance and repair have received their qualifications from North East Scotland College.

Industry partners Gillanders Motors utilised the Flexible Workforce Development Fund to enrol three members of staff from its workshops in Peterhead and Aberdeen.

They completed a Level 2 Award in Electric/Hybrid Vehicle Routine Maintenance followed by a Level 3 Award in Electric/Hybrid Vehicle System Repair and Replacement over four days at NESCol’s Aberdeen Altens Campus.

The courses are part of a wider focus by the College on training for energy transition which includes the introduction of specialist provision for wind turbine technicians and the recent launch of Scotland’s first Net Zero Scholarships.

Kevin Bruce, NESCol’s Head of Sector for Engineering, Science and Technology, said: “We work very closely with industry partners in sectors the College has been supporting for generations, with engineering and automotive two good examples. Our role is to make sure employers are able to upskill and reskill existing staff to keep pace with the big changes that are taking place and also to prepare the next generation for new roles.

“Our curriculum is always evolving to meet the needs of the region and there’s a real momentum building around energy transition. That isn’t just about generating energy through renewable sources but also through the infrastructure that surrounds transition, from electric and hybrid vehicles in automotive through to ground and air source heat pumps in construction. There are lots of opportunities to learn and develop.”

With the phasing out of petrol and diesel cars and vans in the UK underway, sales of zero emission vehicles are growing rapidly. Demand for support services is already building and North East businesses are gearing up for further expansion.

Paul Balfour, NESCol’s Academic Improvement Lead for Automotive, was part of the team that delivered the new courses. He said: “The qualfications are designed to lead technicians through a very structured process, from safely isolating EV and hybrid vehicles through to service and repair.

“The automotive industry, including repair businesses, is in the midst of the largest single change it has ever seen. The skills and knowledge of the workforce will underpin the transition to zero emissions vehicles and employers are quickly adapting. The training being undertaken now will future proof businesses and equip them to cater for a growing customer base.”

The Gillanders Motors cohort were enrolled through the Flexible Workforce Development Fund, which provides up to £15,000 of free training at NESCol for businesses in the region.

Graham McIntosh, of Gillanders Motors, said: “We felt it was a fantastic opportunity to further the skills of our Technicians and allow them to gain the required qualifications to work safely and confidently on both electric and hybrid vehicles . Our thanks go to our local training centre NESCol and all involved in devising and delivering these courses.”

Paul Balfour (left) and Kevin Bruce (right) present Gillanders technician John Duthie with his certificate.