The Halfords chief urged Boris Johnson to address the shortage of specialist mechanics capable of meeting the government’s ambitions to rapidly increase the number of electric cars on UK roads.

Graham Stapleton, general manager of the auto retail and services company, said he was “very concerned” that sufficient steps were not being taken to address the “skills gap”.

The government said earlier this year that it would ban the sale of all new gasoline and diesel cars and vans by 2030. It said there were around 500,000 zero-emission, low-emission cars on the market. UK roads, but that figure is expected to reach 11 million. by 2030.

Mr Stapleton said there should be a shortage of around 35,000 technicians across the UK capable of handling these vehicles, and called for state support to rapidly develop this workforce. .

He said: “There just aren’t enough of them and we will have to continue to train thousands of people every year if we are to get closer to the levels that are needed.

“I spoke to the government because I’m very concerned that we need to train more people, or at least define how this process will play out.

“The plans they have made to develop the electric car space are obviously very interesting, but there has to be skills in that space to deal with that. “

This comes against a backdrop of a widespread labor shortage in UK industry, with skilled sectors such as engineering experiencing rising vacancy rates.

Halfords said they have ramped up their hiring over the past year and increased their number of apprenticeships by focusing on the electric vehicle market.

The retailer said it would also hire hundreds more after securing a £ 62million deal to buy Axle Group, owner of the National tire service brand.

The agreement will help Halfords expand its operations to 1,400 locations.

Mr. Stapleton said the company was pleased with efforts to increase consumer recognition for operating auto services.

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Source: www.telegraph.co.uk
This notice was published: 2021-12-06 06:00:00

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