A key part of shifting to cleaner road transport will require replacing 32 million high-carbon vehicles with alternatives like electric vehicles. This report explores the key challenges is upskilling the industry to repair and maintain EVs, presents suggestions for what policymakers can do to support those in vehicle service, maintenance, and repair.
We conducted extensive stakeholder engagement and primary qualitative research, including a focus group of nine vehicle technicians, a policy roundtable of industry experts and public officials, and additional in-depth interviews with training providers.
- There is currently a surplus of well-trained technicians to service and repair EVs for existing and near-future demand. While this is a welcome finding for existing and prospective EV drivers of today, this progress should not be taken for granted.
- Concerted action from government and industry is likely to be required to avert a looming skills crunch in 2027. The industry is set to face a shortfall of 25,100 EV-trained TechSafe technicians by 2030. This raises concerns for the safety and mobility of the UK, and achieving net zero targets.
- The industry not only faces this green skills challenge. The increasing computerisation of cars and efforts by manufacturers to monopolise the aftermarket space are seen as key concerns within the industry today.
- In speaking to workers and expert stakeholders, we learnt of upskilling barriers such as recruitment challenges, low confidence in Government plans for the EV transition, FE colleges capital constraints and the need for additional support for small workshops
- The EV transition represents a unique opportunity to get more young people into the auto technician sector who are passionate about climate action and technology.
- Launch an attractive green careers campaign to get young people and those from underrepresented backgrounds into EV repairs.
- Key low-carbon industries, including EV repairs, should be central to the Government’s consultation on Apprenticeship Levy reform
- Develop a medium-term credible plan to upskill technicians for EVs
- Introduce a mandatory license to operate in the repair and maintenance industry
- Create the conditions for fair competition, as market structure should be allowed to evolve to ensure it is delivering good customer outcomes and can overcome issues of low demand for technicians in the future.