£1.8 million electric vehicle and retrofit training facility heading to Coventry College

An architect’s visualisation of Coventry College’s electric vehicle training facility
Coventry College green skills training centre

A new £1.8 million electric vehicle and retrofit training facility is heading to Coventry to help employers in the West Midlands rise to the industrial challenges of climate change, prepare learners for careers in emission-free motoring, and build the homes of the future.

Coventry College has unveiled plans to help employers and Motor Vehicle and Construction students prepare for a zero-carbon future with the launch of a new dedicated training centre after securing capital investment from the Government’s Strategic Development Fund (SDF).

Launched as part of the college’s ‘Charge Up Your Future’ campaign, it will be the first site of its type in Coventry and Warwickshire and is expected to open in March 2022 alongside a suite of new programmes. They will provide businesses with the skills and knowledge to capitalise on industry opportunities and achieve the Government’s net-zero targets, and students with practical experience under the bonnets of electric vehicles.

The Government’s two-step plan to reduce carbon emissions includes phasing out the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, before extending to new hybrid vehicle sales in 2035.

Charge Up Your Future will be delivered under the Skills Accelerator programme, which is a key part of the Government’s blueprint for reshaping the technical skills system – with a total of £5m awarded to Coventry and Warwickshire colleges to ensure the region’s educational provision meets the demand for skills.

The specialist programmes will include training around electric and hybrid vehicles; battery development and deployment; hydrogen awareness; electric vehicle charging points; retrofitting buildings; domestic energy assessment; and photovoltaics, which is the conversion of light into electricity.

The College is also looking to partner with garages, dealerships, and manufacturers that sell or make electric and hybrid vehicles in order to provide vehicles that the students can work on to develop their skills.

It will hold an employer event on Friday, February 11 to respond to queries from local businesses and detail the new facility and programmes.

Gemma Knott, Vice Principal for Business Growth, Engagement and Partnerships at Coventry College, said: “With the help of SDF funding, Coventry College is thrilled to announce an industry-leading facility that will, combined with in-depth and intensive training opportunities, put the College at the heart of one of the leading green industrial centres in the UK.

“With the Charge Up Your Future initiative, we are joining the drive towards a zero-carbon future by providing businesses in the region with the expertise they need to do their bit, while capitalising on the opportunities that this growing industry will bring to the region’s strong manufacturing presence.

“Utilising green energy and ensuring corporate social responsibility will be central to generating new business, maximising reputations and credibility, and ensuring that employees know about government regulations and how to meet them.”