EV Vehicle Transition Requires Auto Sector Workforce Reskilling

Indepedent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA)

As Australia transitions to electric vehicles, the automotive sector will require a comprehensive workforce strategy to address the changing job roles and skill requirements as petrol and diesel-powered vehicles are retired. This was the advice given to a federal parliamentary inquiry by the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA), the peak body representing independent skills training, higher education, and international education providers.

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Climate Change, Energy, Environment, and Water is considering issues associated with the nation’s transition to electric vehicles. ITECA’s submission to the inquiry addressed the need to reskill and upskill the auto sector’s workforce.

“As the industry shifts, new roles such as EV repair technicians, battery specialists, and software engineers for vehicle management systems are becoming increasingly important. There is a pressing need for robust training programs to upskill and reskill the existing workforce to proficiently handle electric drivetrains, battery systems, and charging infrastructure,” said Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.

ITECA notes that the transition to EVs is going to be an enormous task in workforce reskilling.

“According to data from Jobs and Skills Australia, there are some 157,500 people employed in automotive repair and maintenance across the country, highlighting the enormity of the task ahead,” Mr Williams said.

Both independent Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and public TAFE colleges will play a crucial role in delivering the specialised training programs required for the upskilling and reskilling of the automotive sector’s workforce according to ITECA.

“Independent RTOs will play a critical role as they support around 45.4% of students in the Automotive Industry Retail, Service, and Repair Training Package,” Mr. Williams said.

While the National Electric Vehicle Strategy outlines a solid framework for emissions reduction and the adoption of EVs, ITECA notes it currently lacks a comprehensive plan for workforce development.

“ITECA is calling for a strategic approach that leverages the strengths of both independent RTOs and TAFE colleges, advocating for a collaborative effort to meet the emerging automotive sector’s need to upskill and reskill the workforce,” Mr. Williams said.

Highlighting the importance of leveraging the complementary strengths of independent RTOs and public providers, ITECA stresses the need for training that supports the EV service sector across remote, rural, and regional Australia.

“The reskilling and upskilling of Australia’s workforce to manage the transition to electric vehicles is a national challenge, and we need to look particularly at the issues for remote, rural, and regional Australia,” Mr. Williams said.

/Public Release.