Birmingham chosen to host major electrification skills conference

Meeting the skills needs of the rapidly growing future of electrification will be discussed later this month when Birmingham hosts the first annual Electric Revolution Skills (ERS) Hub conference. 

Inspection engineers preparing to rappel down a rotor blade of a wind turbine
Inspection engineers preparing to rappel down a rotor blade of a wind turbine

More than 200 delegates are expected to attend the two-day event at the International Convention Centre on March 27-28, where experts from the sector will discuss emerging technologies in power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD) and how the UK can mitigate the skills gap currently stifling future opportunities.

Those attending will hear from influential speakers, such as Florbela Costa (Head of Engineering at Parvalux), Will Mason (Managing Director of maxon), Paul Jarvie (Centre Lead for Driving the Electric Revolution) and Charlie Martin, British racing driver and transgender rights activist.

The high-profile event will also see the launch of the Electric Revolution Skills Hub, an integrated digital platform providing inclusive access to training, development, and jobs across the nation.

Funded in partnership with UKRI and Innovate UK, the ERS Hub is being delivered by Coventry University and, in the first year, is looking to offer 150 companies and organisations access to a skills diagnostic tool, dedicated training courses and an electrification jobs board.

“UK manufacturing is reinventing itself and electrification offers a massive opportunity for companies – in all parts of the supply chain – to develop new technologies, processes and services for a £multi-billion global opportunity,” said Deepak Farmah, Commercial Director of the ERS Hub.

“The challenge will be ensuring we have the skills and people to take advantage of this emerging sector. This will be the central theme of our discussions during our two-day conference in Birmingham.”

He continued: “Leaders in the field will give their views on current and future trends, whilst breakout workshops will tackle some of the issues and opportunities we’re currently seeing.

The launch of the ERS Hub is a real line in the sand and will give the UK a dedicated platform to start bridging the skills gap.”

The ERS Hub will be a single point of truth for skills and development, providing companies and organisations with a digital platform to find courses, expert training providers and new employees.

At the heart of the platform will be the Body of Knowledge, which will promote a consistent view of PEMD and build a consensus for the PEMD disciplines required to upskill the UK workforce.

Deepak added: “The ERS Hub will help businesses attract new individuals to work in electrification and support growth in this vital industry. Likewise, people can use the Hub to find training courses and jobs, as well as new accreditations that could help them with career progression.

“There will be the industry’s first jobs board specialising in electrification, providing a central place for employers to find staff and young people/new entrants looking for careers in the sector.

“The final element of our offer is for academia. We are working with schools, colleges, and universities to promote courses on the Hub, encourage students to consider a career in this field and, importantly, connect with industry.”

There will be a catalogue of easy-to-search courses from universities and non-traditional training providers ranging from electrical engineering to automation and control.

Deepak said: “The skills gap is a barrier to innovation. The UK must become a leading economy in this space, and to take the lead, we need to be at the forefront of research and development. We need people with the right skills to ensure we do that and ultimately, that’s what the ERS Hub is seeking to achieve.”

To book a place at the conference, visit www.ershub.co.uk/.

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