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Is the technical skills shortage putting sustainability on hold?

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There is no doubt that the pandemic positively influenced humanity’s relationship with nature: the University of Cumbria found 72 per cent of women and 60 per cent of men reported that they are more likely to spend time in nature in the future.

And with a new-found appreciation for the outdoors, combined with increased social awareness from David Attenborough’s documentary Seven Worlds, One Planet and recent Netflix film Seaspiracy, and the Government’s pledge to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, electric is most definitely part of our eco-system for good. 

So it is no surprise that such a shift in values means battery electrics have since doubled in market share compared to last year. However, with such rapid growth, concerns are already rising around the readiness for the all-electric ecosystem. Now is the time to review, plan and tackle weak areas of infrastructure, starting with the shortage of skilled workers. 

Future-proofing EV 

The infrastructure industry and stakeholders are already mapping out e-charging roadmaps across the UK to satisfy growing demand and maintain consumer faith in the EV future. Volkswagen manufacturers are already submitting plans to install charging points at 600 Tesco stores across the UK. 

Supporting existing talent

The move to electric affects almost everyone in the chain from suppliers and manufacturers to designers and tradesmen. Therefore, there will be demands for the current workforce to retrain and upskill with new fundamentals and ways of working.

With experience in the sector and unbeatable knowledge, retaining and retraining these generations is vital to the short and long-term strategies.  

Looking to our innovators

The ‘e-shift’ will see significant need for innovators. As the motor industry move towards EV, other industries move towards artificial intelligence, automation, cloud-based software and other enhanced technologies.

Those with the ability to navigate new technologies will stay ahead of the employment competition.

Young talent

With 97 per cent of mechanics unable to work on electric cars due to a lack of qualifications for modern technology, we are looking towards the younger generations of mechanics and engineers, who are already considering training in electric vehicles in order to keep their skills up to scratch and be ready for the revolution.

Attracting Millennials, Gen Zs and Gen Alphas (post 2010s), should be a core focus for all company strategies. With fresh minds, an eagerness to learn, aligned environmental values and favourable technical abilities, attracting talent from these generations is critical for a sustainable long-term strategy. 

As the UK overtakes France to become Europe’s second largest electric car market, it is important for industry leaders to consider how market shifts and changes in consumer demands could affect long-term personnel strategies, and how they can relieve the potentially disastrous effects of the looming technical skills shortage by putting early measures in place.

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