Electrification skills conference to be held in Birmingham, UK

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To address the electrification skills shortage crisis, Coventry University is launching a new conference. More than 200 delegates are expected to attend the Electric Revolution Skills Hub, which will take place across two days at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham, UK, on March 27 and 28.

Topics on the agenda include emerging technologies in power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD) and how the UK can mitigate the skills gap currently stifling future opportunities.  Speakers include Florbela Costa, head of engineering at Parvalux; Will Mason, managing director of maxon; Paul Jarvie, centre lead for the Driving the Electric Revolution center; and Charlie Martin, British racing driver and transgender rights activist.

Funded in partnership with UKRI and Innovate UK, the aim in the first year is to offer 150 companies and organizations access to a talent diagnostic tool, dedicated training courses and an electrification jobs board.

“UK manufacturing is reinventing itself and electrification offers a massive opportunity for companies – in all parts of the supply chain – to develop new technologies, processes and services for a multi-billion pound global opportunity,” said Deepak Farmah, commercial director of the ERS Hub.

“The challenge will be ensuring we have the skills and people to take advantage of this emerging sector. This will be the central theme of our discussions during our two-day conference in Birmingham. Leaders in the field will give their views on current and future trends, while breakout workshops will tackle some of the issues and opportunities we’re currently seeing. The launch of the ERS Hub is a real line in the sand and will give the UK a dedicated platform to start bridging the skills gap.”

Alongside the annual conference, an ERS Hub digital platform is being launched that will provide access to training, courses and jobs across the country. At the heart of the platform will be the body of knowledge, which will promote a consistent view of PEMD and build a consensus for the PEMD disciplines required to upskill the UK workforce. It will also include a catalog of easy-to-search courses from universities and non-traditional training providers ranging from electrical engineering to automation and control.

“The ERS Hub will help businesses attract new individuals to work in electrification and support growth in this vital industry. Likewise, people can use the Hub to find training courses and jobs, as well as new accreditations that could help them with career progression. There will be the industry’s first jobs board specializing in electrification, providing a central place for employers to find staff and young people/new entrants looking for careers in the sector.  The final element of our offer is for academia. We are working with schools, colleges and universities to promote courses on the Hub, encourage students to consider a career in this field and, importantly, connect with industry.

“The skills gap is a barrier to innovation. The UK must become a leading economy in this space, and to take the lead, we need to be at the forefront of research and development. We need people with the right skills to ensure we do that. Ultimately, that’s what the ERS Hub is seeking to achieve,” concluded Farmah.

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Rachel's career in journalism has seen her write for various titles at UKi Media & Events within automotive, tire and marine. Currently editor of ATTI, her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the groundbreaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of transportation.

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