Cambria college

From left: Karl Jackson, Assistant Principal, Institute of Technology, Bersham Road, and automotive trainer mentor Alex Woodward

A college in North Wales is one of the first in the UK to launch a course to train mechanics to work on electric vehicles.

From September Cambria Coleg’s Bersham Road site in Wrexham will be offering courses for an IMI (Institute of the Motor Industry) Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Repair Level 3 qualification.

To further boost Cambria’s credentials, automotive trainer mentor Alex Woodward has been awarded Low Carbon Consultant Expert status from the European Centre of Technology (ECT) Renewable Energy Institute.

Carl Roberts, curriculum director, said the accolade will further strengthen their position as a centre of excellence.

“Alex’s fantastic achievement gives us a great foundation to build on,” said Roberts.

“The rest of the team will be in position to deliver the Level 3 course from September, so Bersham Road will be at the forefront of education and training at a crucial time for the trade.

“The move from petrol and diesel to electric and hybrid is the biggest change facing the automotive sector for 40-50 years, so dealerships and garages across the country will have to be ready.

“The IMI is pushing for all technicians to be trained to work on hybrid and electric, so from a diagnostic and safety point of view it is crucial they move quickly.”

He added: “The Low Carbon Consultant Expert series of courses completed by Alex are not just about vehicles, the knowledge developed can be transferred to multiple trades, from electrical engineering to construction, plumbing, welding and more.

“The green agenda means we will lean into other areas, so the possibilities are endless.”

Woodward said: “Safety is top priority so we have a rig on which learners can work on the engine without any risks and simulate issues and solutions that would happen in real-time, real-life scenarios.

“People in the trade will need to be prepared because, like with a petrol or diesel car, when the warranty runs out motorists will be looking to take their vehicle to an independent garage. At present they’re not in a position to do the work.”