Halfords is training 1,500 extra technicians to work on electric vehicles, bikes, and scooters as it prepares for the 2030 switch away from internal combustion engine cars. As the demand for electric vehicles grows, the demand for staff trained to work on them increases too.
The servicing group expects to hire hundreds of new staff and retrain existing employees. This means it’ll employ 100 new electric car technicians by next year, bringing the total to 470. This number is set to grow as we see more electric vehicles on our roads.
“We are looking at very significant growth in our skills and capabilities to service electric bikes, cars and vans in the next four to six months,” Halfords’ chief executive, Graham Stapleton, said in a Guardian article.
Demand for servicing hybrid vehicles has climbed by 78% and electric micro-mobility is also proving more popular than ever with sales of electric bikes and scooters tripling in just six months. Stapleton said that the entire industry would need to respond to the new 2030 plan by training more EV technicians. This means the number serving the industry would need to at least double as there will be an expected 11m hybrid and electric vehicles on our roads by 2030. Halfords already has these training programmes in place but is aware of the skills shortage both in its business and across the industry.
With electric vehicle ownership about to boom, this skills shortage could be a real issue but many businesses are already addressing this. One of those is Mission Motorsport, which recently obtained approval from the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) to train ex-services personnel as EV technicians.
James Cameron, the chief executive and founder of Mission Motorsport said: “Many forces personnel have extensive experience in handling high voltage equipment; it’s just part of the day job. It makes perfect sense to reapply this experience in the automotive sector which is currently facing a shortage of experienced and qualified technicians to work on electric vehicles.”
IMI chief executive, Steve Nash, said: “Despite the current challenges in the market, the automotive sector must be ready for the zero-emission targets – and that means there will continue to be a focus on those who have the capabilities to work on high voltage vehicles.”