Centre ropes in ITIs, ASDC, private sector to develop EV talent pool

Minister Dharmendra Pradhan tells Parliament that Skill Development and Entrepreneurship is introducing new courses and developing fresh qualifications for skilling people to meet the EV industry's growing needs

Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

Even as India’s fledgling EV industry is addressing key challenges such as battery life and charging infrastructure, the dire need for a highly skilled talent pool for indigenous manufacture has often been pointed out.

With the growing demand for EVs, which is set to cross 102 million units between 2021 and 2030, the next generation of India’s workforce needs to be skilled in the sector, while the existing workforce will have to upskill itself to remain relevant and competitive in the future. As of now, there is a severe shortage of such skilled personnel, which is affecting the roll out of EVs in the country. According to industry experts, outdated course curriculums or courses that are not totally in sync with EV industry requirements are the root cause of the problem.

The Centre has now stated that it is tackling this shortfall by introducing new courses, developing new qualifications and conducting training and certification programmes along with the private sector. Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said this in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on the Centre’s efforts to solve the challenge of upskilling and reskilling people employed in the internal combustion engine (ICE) based automobile and ancillary industry sector.

Also read: Over 13 lakh electric vehicles in use in India; UP has highest: Centre

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Mechanic Electric Vehicle course

Listing out the efforts being made by the Centre, Pradhan said his ministry is offering a course titled ‘Mechanic Electric Vehicle’ introduced through its Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs). This two-year course was in fact launched in 2021, keeping in mind the requirements of the EV ecosystem, he added.

Moreover, the Automotive Skill Development Council (ASDC) has embarked on its own EV skilling programmes like organising various expert group meetings on EVs to discuss the current needs of the industry. The experts discuss the qualifications and role of trainer, assessor and their placement in EV manufacturing, service, R&D, etc.

The ASDC has also collaborated with NPTC Group of Colleges in UK to conduct Training of Trainers (ToT) programme for the newly developed EV service lead technicians. Twelve trainers have already been certified. Moreover, the council has teamed up with industry and training providers to develop various certification programmes with companies and has certified approximately 2,000 candidates. Besides, it has also launched e-learning courses with Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd called “xEV Shiksha”, in which 25,000 plus people have been certified, said the minister.

Also read: Battery swap: India’s new way to achieve mass electrification

Training for two key roles

Training is also being given for two job roles – electric vehicle maintenance technician and electric vehicle test engineer. This initiative has been undertaken under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY), said the minister.

The Power Sector Skill Council (PSSC) has recently developed the qualifications for two roles in the EV charging station distribution domain, while the ASDC has also drawn up eight roles in the areas of R&D, manufacturing and service domain such as EV test engineers, EV assembly operator, EV service technician etc.

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