India’s Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) are reportedly launching a course on electric vehicles to train youth in repairing, installing and assembling of EVs. ITIs are set up by the government to train citizens in essential technical skills that can be used by the industry to fulfill the demand for skilled workers.
This short term course will initially be launched in 5-10 ITIs over the next four months, according to a BusinessLine report.
“We are starting with a handful of ITIs because we first want to scale up in cities where manufacturers are likely to launch electric vehicles. Once the basic course is tested in some of the ITIs and a set of trainers are created, scaling up will be easy,” the report cited a government official commenting on the programme.
The course is being planned by the Directorate General of Training (DGT) under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), which operates the ITIs. Another MSDE body, Central Staff Training and Research Institute (CSTRI) will work on designing the course curriculum and is said to be in talks with industry experts for the course development.
Earlier in May, MSDE was reported to be developing a programme to meet the workforce needs of electric vehicle segment in India. At that time too, the government body had sought support from the director-general of training, along with other stakeholder ministries, related-sector skills councils, including automotive, and power.
India’s Lack Of Skilled EV Workforce
India has been aggressively pushing the target of 30% electric vehicles on the road by 2030. Latest development being the government think-tank NITI Aayog’s proposal that only electric vehicles should be sold in India by 2030.
However, lack of skilled workforce in the electric vehicle segment has been one of the major roadblocks in the government’s ambitious EV plan. In late 2018, media reports have shown a shortage of engineers in the electric vehicle industry.
At that time, the demand was estimated to be 5K engineers, majorly in the electric, electronic and mechanical disciplines. Further, an HR company TeamLease had predicted this demand to reach 15K over the next two years.
To meet this huge industry demand, both premier Indian institutions and industry leaders had started contributing to the skilling of youth in electric vehicle segment.
Last year, IIT Delhi had started a master’s degree programme on automotive tech and electric vehicles. Also, electric vehicle online courses are available at the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), which is an educational initiative by seven IITs (Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Roorkee) and IISc Bangalore.
Meanwhile, automakers such as Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Auto have been recruiting students from IIT Roorkee for research and development work on EVs.