More than 200 delegates gathered in Birmingham, UK, last week to attend the first Electric Revolution Skills Hub (ERS Hub) Conference, which was held on March 27 and 28 at the ICC. It was underlined during the event that hundreds of thousands of new skilled jobs will need to be created over the next two years if the UK is going to transition to zero-emission vehicles and become a hotbed for the production and development of power electronics, machines and drives.
Attendees celebrated the official launch of Coventry University’s ERS Hub, an integrated digital platform providing inclusive access to training, development and jobs. Big players including Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus, Maxon, Hewland and a raft of SMEs are already backing its introduction, with 150 companies and organizations set to benefit in the first year alone.
“We’ve let too many sectors disappear or become design houses, letting other countries manufacture our technologies. We can’t let this happen to electrification and clean mobility,” said Deepak Farmah, commercial director of the ERS Hub.
“The opportunity is huge, and we’ve got some of the brightest minds in the industry. Now is the time to seriously look at capacity and capability, ensuring we have the people in place – with the right skills – to take advantage of the emerging demand for power electronics, machines and drives.
“Government has committed £500m (US$615m) to support 169,000 jobs in zero-emission vehicles and this is just the tip of the iceberg, electrification touches many industries, including aerospace, agriculture, energy and marine.
“The ERS Hub is an important new weapon in the sector’s arsenal and will help firms understand what skills are needed through a body of knowledge and a cutting-edge skills diagnostic tool,” Farmah added.
Advanced Electric Machines Limited (AEM) is one of the first businesses to back the ERS Hub. AEM CEO James Widmer commented, “The primary challenge most companies face is identifying and sourcing the essential skills required to meet market demands. The UK urgently needs a solution to upskill employees to compete globally – the ERS Hub will help the sector to begin solving this critical problem that is holding back progress.”