Coventry University to lead collaboration to support UK’s electric revolution and drive for electric transport and net-zero targets

Coventry University will look to play a pivotal role in driving UK electrification by developing a national skills hub aimed at supporting specialist training, after winning £1million in funding.

The national skills hub, aimed at supporting the Power Electronics, Machines and Drives (PEMD) community, is set to be led and developed by Coventry University. It will be a digital platform bringing together providers of an extensive range of training and development opportunities to upskill the UK’s workforce and deliver clean solutions such as the next generation of electric transport and energy delivery innovation.

The PEMD skills hub will connect training and education course providers with employers and learners as well as professionals already working in PEMD who want to develop expertise in specialist areas.

The project is being supported by funding from the ‘Driving the Electric Revolution’ challenge at UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and could provide a significant boost to goals for a net-zero carbon economy by 2050. It also builds on the city’s growing reputation for electrification solutions, such as the National Battery Industrialisation Centre near Coventry Airport, and the West Midlands Gigafactory which is planned for the airport site.

Deepak Farmah, Head of Industrial Innovation, Coventry University, said: “We are delighted to be leading this important initiative, which will build on expertise in delivering national skills interventions for growing markets. We will look to build a high value innovative skills hub that will become the ‘go-to’ place for employers who are in need of the right skills and capabilities. The skills hub will be intended to create a specialised market space in which multiple sectors and training providers can take advantage of a range of benefits that serve as a commons for PEMD activity, information and research.

The hub will aim to impartially curate, organise and host a range of innovative and traditional courses that meet industry needs and encourage the sharing of PEMD skills. The objective is to support the UKRI challenge aims of creating world-leading supply chains and availability of expertise for electrification in the UK.

Carl Perrin, Director of the research Centre for Clean Growth & Future Mobility at Coventry University said: The ‘Driving the Electric Revolution’ team have recognised the importance of skills from the outset. The 10 year commitment to this Skills Hub is a testament to the thorough work done to identify exactly what businesses need to establish the national cross-sector capability to support our industry in the transition to electrification. The Hub will bid to bring business together with training providers to deliver the right skills in the right place at the right time. It is essential to build our UK domestic supply chains to support the Government’s commitment to zero new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.

In addition to the role of being a central skills and jobs platform, it is hoped that the hub will engage with the communities involved in PEMD, hosting events, gathering input and providing horizon-scanning and skills audit services. Working with the community, the hub will look to coordinate development of a common language for skills and a badging system that will help to better categorise training, education and skills development opportunities.

The project got underway in April 2022 and is seeking collaboration and input from across the country in order to build the right skills hub for the community.

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