Published on 

Minister Harris announces the development of a dedicated national centre for electric vehicle skills

Minister Harris announces the development of a dedicated national centre for electric vehicle skills

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today announced the development of a national centre for electric vehicle skills.

The centre will be a critical component of the State’s response to the green transition, and will ensure that Irish workers are fully equipped to handle expanding skills requirements of electric vehicles.

When fully developed, the centre will train people to repair and maintain not only electric cars, but also electric bikes, scooters, trucks, buses, vans and heavy goods vehicles. The centre will allow the Further and Education Training (FET) sector remain a leader in the delivery of motor mechanic skills.

The National Centre will be hosted by Longford-Westmeath ETB, and will build upon the ETB’s a long legacy of skilled craft training in motor mechanics within the region. The National Centre will be based in Mullingar, Co Westmeath.

The first step is the establishment of a project office and the recruitment of staff to commence work on the project.

Minister Harris secured €200,000 in Budget 2024 to establish the office, which will temporarily be based in the head office of LWETB in Marlinstown.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said: "The transition from new diesel and petrol cars is no longer a futuristic concept. It is happening currently. Electric vehicles are outselling new petrol and diesel cars for the first time ever.

“This is the start of a really significant transition.

“As the number of EVs on the road increases, a workforce with the knowledge to fix and properly maintain them will be needed.

“It is clear to us we need a dedicated national centre to focus on the delivery of these key skills, while preparing for future technological advances.

"This national centre will be based in the Midlands, in one of our growing towns and will be absolutely critical to delivery of the skills of the future.”

Andrew Brownlee, SOLAS Chief Executive said: “SOLAS welcomes the development of the national centre for electric vehicle skills in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath as a significant milestone in further expanding the national training provision.

“The skills provided by the national centre by Longford-Westmeath Education and Training Board will be essential in supporting the green transition and in realising climate action targets.”

“Our pledge at SOLAS is to provide every FET learner with the green skills and sustainability awareness to allow them to serve as agents of change on climate action.

“A warm congratulations to my colleagues in Longford-Westmeath Education and Training Board, and to all of the potential learners in Mullingar and the surrounding areas.”

Liz Lavery, LWETB Chief Executive, said: “We are proud to play a pivotal role in this endeavour by hosting the national EV centre.

“LWETB have a long history in education and training providing post-primary and primary education, high quality FET provision, Apprenticeship provision, Music Generation and Youth Services.

“LWETB is delighted and proud to be expanding into this new area and is committed to developing a skilled and knowledgeable workforce that can drive Ireland’s transition to a more eco-friendly future.”