RECHARGE UK report highlights challenges and opportunities around skills in the electric vehicle sector 

A new report from electric vehicle (EV) trade group RECHARGE UK sets out four key recommendations to help the UK seize the local and national skills opportunities offered by the electric vehicle (EV) industry.

The report, which is entitled ‘Harnessing the skills opportunities of a recharged electric vehicle sector’ explores how the UK can equip its workforce for the exciting opportunities emerging in the EV sector. Motor manufacturers, distribution network operators, chargepoint manufacturers, operators and installers, local authorities, software solution providers, and other private and public sector organisations are all involved in this relatively new and fast developing sector.

RECHARGE UK is the EV arm of the REA (Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology). The report was produced in association with Curzon Consulting.

The report delves into:

• Current opportunities: Who is filling them, and what skills are in demand?

• Future forecast: What jobs are on the horizon, and how many skilled workers will be needed?

• Industry efforts: What is the sector doing to bridge the skills gap and help fill the opportunities on offer?

• Government support: What existing support programmes are available and what more is needed?

It examines how the UK can ensure its workforce is prepared for and have access to the opportunities to learn the relevant skills needed to thrive in the sector.

The recommendations in the report are born out of direct engagement with industry participants including charge point operators, energy networks, local authorities and vehicle manufacturers. 

They are as follows:

*For the EV sector to create and participate in outreach programmes to inspire the next generation of Net Zero heroes.

*For the Government to create local Centres of Excellence for Net Zero skills to mitigate local skills gaps and harness the passion for the environment on display from young people today.

*For the EV sector and UK Government to create upskilling programmes to ensure continued improvement and promotion of opportunities to the existing workforce.

*For the UK Government to create reskilling programmes to ensure that those in the workforce without relevant skills, outside of the EV sector can access the growing number of opportunities on offer.

RECHARGE UK and the REA are directly engaging with Government to drive forward these recommendations.

Matt Western MP, Shadow Minister for Higher Education and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Electric Vehicles, said:

“If we are going to decarbonise our economy and take advantage of the green opportunities of the future, we will need a workplace capable of delivering it. That’s why this report by the REA is so important and I hope it positively influences the debate.

“There’s so much enthusiasm for the climate agenda among young people we need to harness. I want to see the Government commit to supporting colleges to specialise in the technical skills needed to build electric vehicles, as well as reform the apprenticeship levy to unlock funding for retraining and reskilling employees in the automotive sector.”

Matthew Adams, Transport Policy Manager at the REA, said: “At every event or conference, you go to, the same question is always asked: “But do we have the skills for this?” Our members, Parliamentarians and external stakeholders have expressed their concerns and we as an organisation have responded. Setting out a comprehensive report of the entire EV sector, setting out the current recruitment challenges faced by the sector, as well as the efforts of CPOs and DNOs in upskilling and reskilling to ensure a future proofed career pathway. We have also made a series of structured recommendations on how collectively the industry and Government can collaborate to prepare the workforce and the next generation for the transition to a predominantly electric road transport system. We suggest this is a platform to engage and collaborate, so please do contact us if you want to know how to get involved with existing Government programmes or want to support our key asks.”

Andrew Morgan, Managing Partner at Curzon Consulting, said: “Our contributing research with industry stakeholders on the fronline of the EV revolution shines a light on the exciting new career paths it is creating and the determination they are making to grow and develop the talent pool. It also underlines the urgent and continued need to do more and for industry to be supported by Government to match the efforts and underpin the continued expansion of the EV sector.”

Heather Foster, Programme Manager – EV Infrastructure Strategy at Midlands Connect, said: “It is great to see the local transport authority skills challenges identified across the EV infrastructure skills map. Local transport authorities play a crucial part in enabling the delivery of equitable, affordable charging infrastructure on street, to enable residents and businesses to transition to electric vehicles. Skills to support local councils are key in delivering equitable public EV infrastructure to help decarbonise transport.”

Lindsay Warren, Managing Director of Net Zero Evolution, said: “As the founder of Net Zero Heroes, Net Zero Evolutions not-for-profit schools outreach program designed to link the curriculum to roles within the net zero sectors, I welcome the RECHARGE UK report highlighting the challenges and opportunities around skills in the electric vehicle charging sector.

“We are excited to be collaborating with the EV charging sector, government stakeholders and local schools to develop and implement inspiring outreach programs that connect students with role models from the industry to present real-world examples of potential positions and future technologies from the industry. We are committed to playing a pivotal role in shaping the future workforce for a sustainable and prosperous society and we encourage you to join us.”

Mat Ilic, CEO of Greenworkx, said: “Electric vehicles have a key role to play in the journey to net zero, but the UK is falling behind on progress. By 2035, under current legislation, all new cars and vans sold must be zero-emission, and over the next four years, tens of thousands of new skilled workers will be needed to achieve this, helping us grow and electrify the infrastructure to support the proliferation of low emissions vehicles. We need all hands on deck. Talent can come from anywhere: school, college and University leavers, career changers, Armed forces veterans and existing skilled trades, all need to take on the mantle if we are to build this future. At Greenworkx we were delighted to contribute to the REA’s research and proposals and look forward to powering millions of people in green jobs over the coming years.”

The report can be viewed here:


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