£100k Essex County Council investment in new electric vehicle repair and maintenance courses at Harlow College
Huge financial boost for training and green skills in Essex, as Electric Vehicle Centre officially opens.
Essex County Council is funding 50 new places at Harlow College, giving local people the chance to develop professional green skills qualifications in electric vehicle repair and maintenance, in new facilities located within the college campus.
Investment for the 50 new training places is being funded through the Council’s Levelling Up fund, as part of the Council’s Everyone’s Essex strategy. The electric vehicle repair and maintenance courses have been developed by partners Essex County Council, Harlow College and Harlow District Council.
The Electric Vehicle Centre was officially opened today (Friday 10th March) by Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow and Minister of State for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education and Cllr Louise McKinlay, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council.
Cllr Louise McKinlay, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Community, Partnerships and Performance, said: “This centre will support local people to develop new professional qualifications in electric vehicle repair and maintenance, which we know will be a major growth sector in the future.
“It’s apt that we celebrate the opening during National Careers Week, as it is so important that we invest and create new opportunities in careers and education as we work to level up the County.
“It is also about developing green skills, as electric vehicles are key to supporting our transition as a County to carbon net zero.”
Acquiring, maintaining and developing high quality skills is essential in the Essex job market and Electric Vehicle skills are known to be in high demand locally. Harlow District Council have anticipated that by 2030 there could be between approximately 6,000 and 14,000 electric vehicles in the area, creating a need for trained technicians to carry-out repairs and servicing to these vehicles.
Successful completion of the new Electric Vehicle course will provide technicians with the required qualifications to achieve IMI Techsafe™ recognition, allowing them to demonstrate their up-to-date proficiency to work on electric vehicles, a professional recognition that ensures safety and rigour within the industry.
Rt Hon Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow and Minister of State for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education said: “I have visited Harlow College over a hundred times now so it was wonderful on this occasion to be invited again to open their new electric vehicle centre. This new centre will be a fantastic demonstration of the importance of Levelling Up at both a national and local level, bringing real-time benefits to Harlow residents.
“It is vital that we continue to offer new skills and technological advances for local people to enable them to take the first step onto the ladder of opportunity to reach the ultimate goals of good jobs, security and prosperity. Building a skills nation is vital for the future and if young people are able to take that first step now and grasp the opportunity with both hands under the strong leadership of Harlow College, I have no doubt they will succeed for generations to come.”
Cllr Tony Ball, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Education Excellence, Lifelong Learning and Employability, said: “As a Council, we are committed to doing our part to ensure that the people of Harlow have access to the education and skills necessary to secure jobs of the present and future.
“We know that employers in the automotive industry are going to need staff with the appropriate skills to maintain and repair electric vehicles. By increasing participation and the learning experience of individuals undertaking courses and apprenticeships in these sectors, our colleagues at Harlow College can help residents gain the right skills and experience to secure good jobs with local employers.
He added: “This is why we are placing a strong emphasis on education and skills for Levelling Up in Harlow, and it’s exciting that local residents will soon be able to make use of the new Electric Vehicle Centre.”
Karen Spencer, College Principal said: "We are delighted to have had the first cohort of students successfully complete training in the new Harlow College centre. We know that the world is changing rapidly, and skills will be at the heart of making our environment more sustainable. We are pleased to have had the support of Essex County Council and Harlow District Council to develop our Electric Vehicle Centre."