Further Education to Deliver Hydrogen and Electric Skills Boost for Leicestershire


March 28 2023

Leicestershire-based automotive sector businesses and their employees are set to benefit from a multi-million-pound investment in skills training to help them take advantage of growing demand for cleaner, greener transport from electric vehicles including those powered by hydrogen.

The dynamic new Hyve project, led by North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) along with its partners, Leicester College, Loughborough College and SMB College Group, will deliver infrastructure, awareness, and skills training in hydrogen and electric vehicles with a focus on HGVs and LGVs for businesses based within the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) area.

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of NWSLC said, “The climate emergency and the UK’s goal to achieve Net Zero status by 2050 provides a strong stimulus to switch to using cleaner, greener road transport. The replacement of vehicles powered by the internal combustion engine with those that rely on low carbon powertrains is gathering pace, and HEVs and PHEVs are expected to account for 27 per cent of new vehicle registrations by the end of 2023.

“As the process of switching to BEVs accelerates, and emerging technology such as hydrogen becomes more accessible, we will increasingly need more skilled individuals working in the manufacture and maintenance of electric and hydrogen vehicles.

“To avoid future skills gaps and protect the businesses that operate from our region, we are working together with our partners across further education to upskill and retrain employees in the automotive and logistics sectors in BEV technology. The Hyve project is also designed to engage young people with ideas for future careers, inspiring and empowering the next generation of automotive engineers.”

The Hyve project, which is supported by a grant from the government’s Strategic Development Fund, brings the power of a collaborative partnership to boost skills training for automotive and logistics employers in Leicestershire as they adopt the low carbon technology that powers hydrogen and electric vehicles with a focus on HGVs and LGVs.

Hyve training will serve to boost awareness and deliver cultural change as well as addressing key specific training elements including:

  • Compliance and safety
  • Service, maintenance, and repair skills
  • Warranty and breakdown
  • Advanced driver assistance systems and calibration.

Marion Plant added, “This unique collaboration between further education partners is specifically designed to make it easier for automotive sector businesses to ensure that their workforce has the specialist skills that its needs to thrive in the 21st century environment.

“Hyve offers highly targeted specialist training and delivery is flexible to meet the needs of individual employers and their teams, and true progression from CPD to apprenticeships, degree-level studies and beyond if required. Businesses will benefit from access to advice on the best study routes and qualifications for their workforce.

“Engaging with Hyve brings access to the industry expertise on its doorstep within Europe’s leading logistics location. Bespoke facilities and equipment ensure that Hyve students can acquire skills that are fit for the rapidly evolving automotive sector, and businesses have access to the latest technology and resources.

“Businesses can benefit from advice on funding for apprenticeships, whether organisations pay the Apprenticeship Levy or not, and can find out how levy-payers can share funds to support training across their supply chain.

Businesses that are interested in accessing the fully funded training are encouraged to visit the Hyve website and get in touch via the Hyve website.

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