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Hub will connect UK’s PEMD community and promote skills

08 March, 2023

A new digital platform aimed at connecting the UK’s PEMD (power electronics, machines and drives) community and closing the skills gap in the sector will be launched later this month at a conference in Birmingham.

The Electric Revolution Skills Hub, has been developed by Coventry University in collaboration with Government-funded UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) and its Driving the Electric Revolution initiative. With an investment of up to £6m, the initiative supports PEMD skills and training for the UK's workforce at all levels.

The Hub – aimed at businesses, decision-makers, members of the PEMD community and graduates – will offer access to training, development, networking and career opportunities, underpinned by a “body of knowledge” mapping the skills and technologies needed for electrification.

This body of knowledge includes the development of a common language for the PEMD sector that aims to bring new clarity to the way businesses, training providers and individuals talk about PEMD.

“The Skills Hub is a dedicated platform created to benefit the sectors that make up UK PEMD and act as a commons for activity around skills, training and market information,” explains Deepak Farmah, head of industrial innovation at Coventry University, and one of the driving forces behind the Hub.

“Not only is the Hub creating a complete body of knowledge, it is also providing the availability to upskill and re-train engineers,” adds Driving the Electric Revolution’s deputy director, Venn Chesterton.

“It’s no secret that there is a skills shortage in the UK in the PEMD sector,” says Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge director, Professor Will Drury.

Electrification will be essential if the UK is to achieve its target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. However, the skills gap could be a major obstacle to reaching this goal. A 2022 report by Green Alliance found that “every major sector in the UK needs to close a significant skills gap to enable them to reach net-zero”.

Racing driver Charlie Martin will be one of the speakers at the launch conference for the Electric Revolution Skills Hub
Image: Formula E

In addition, research by the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, the University of Warwick and the Faraday Institution has found that 70,000 new employees will be needed for the UK’s electric automotive industry over the coming decade, while the energy sector will need to replace or retrain 48% of its workforce – involving a total of 277,000 employees.

The Skills Hub is being launched at a conference in Birmingham on 27 and 28 March. As well as speakers talking about emerging technologies in PEMD and electrification, there will be guest speakers including Florbela Costa, head of engineering at Parvalux, who will discuss the use of DC motors on the Mars Rover vehicle, and the British racing driver Charlie Martin, who will talk about Formula E and her journey there.

While the Skills Hub is focusing on training and careers, Driving the Electric Revolution has also launched four industrialisation centres around the UK with more than 35 partners. These centres help businesses to develop and scale-up new PEMD technologies and manufacturing processes using world-class technologies. The initiative has an £80m budget for the period 2019-2024 to support the UK’s push towards a net-zero economy and to help develop clean technology supply chains.

Driving the Electric Revolution:  Twitter  LinkedIn  Facebook

UKRI:  Twitter  LinkedIn  Facebook

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