The Education Column with East Riding College’s Neil Waterhouse: A new faculty of advanced automotive technologies is unveiled

East Riding College has just launched its new faculty of advanced automotive technologies, which is investing in green technology and developing curriculum to meet the growing need for both electric vehicle technicians and electricians who can install EV charging points.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 17th February 2022, 8:13 am
Neil Waterhouse, executive director: commercial and finance at East Yorkshire College with the new electric vehicles.

To aid in the delivery of new courses, the college has invested in two of the latest EV models, the all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E and the Toyota C-HR Hybrid, following a successful bid to the Skills Accelerator Development Fund.

The Fund is part of the Government’s blueprint for reshaping the technical skills system to better support the needs of the local labour market and the wider economy.

This new initiative is driven by employers, colleges and other providers working together to identify the skills needs of an area, and to begin the process of transforming the delivery of technical education so that it meets and drives demand for skills.

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Our curriculum has always been designed to meet the needs of local employers. Because of the fast-paced changes in the automotive industry, and the Government targets to transition to zero-emissions motoring by 2035, the electric motoring curriculum is evolving in exciting ways to meet the needs of industry and society. Our learners will be ready for the future.

Electric vehicles have been around for a while, but incentives – and eventually – regulations will come in to drive change and they are already speeding up the process of switching to electric. The development of EVs will hopefully have the significant impact on the environment we all hope it will, but inevitably, it will also change the way we all use our cars and a visit to the mechanic will not be the same once they are widely adopted.

Developments by tech giants and the existing automotive industry have instigated significant changes, beyond what’s under the bonnet.

A major re-evaluation of the whole design and function of vehicles has begun.

The new Mustang Mach-E has state-of-the-art technology far more advanced than any standard model of car most of us are used to.

The Mustang has advanced connectivity, an in-car communication and entertainment system, wireless smartphone integration and voice recognition, as well as driver-assist features such as evasive steering. It connects to an app that allows tracking, remote locking, and even monitors tyre pressure.

It also parks itself.

We are all on the road to a brave new world of AI in cars and at East Riding College we are preparing our student technicians for the exciting future that lies ahead.

Alongside these fascinating developments comes the practical, essential requirement for more charging points to facilitate our travel.

Demand for charging points is already outstripping supply, and the skills to install new charging points are going to be needed for some time to come.

A skills shortage has already been identified, which is why at East Riding College we are already gearing up to train the electric vehicle charging point installers of the future.

Without them, none of us will get very far!