03:51PM, Monday 24 January 2022
A new training centre has been launched at a Burchetts Green college to equip mechanics with the skills to work on hybrid and electric vehicles.
An official launch ceremony was held at the Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA) on Thursday for the education centre's electric and hybrid vehicle training centre.
The venture is being supported by the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, which had representatives present on the day alongside BCA staff, mechanics, partner companies and the council's lead member for transport, Cllr Gerry Clark.
BCA assistant principal Dan Fairbairn introduced head of the motor vehicle department, Malcolm Adamson, before a series of talks by interested parties and a networking exercise.
Harpreet Pangali, commercial training manager at BCA, said the aim of Thursday's event was to show off the college's green ambitions, with this new training centre for electric and hybrid cars a part of its overall aim to help fight climate change.
"We realised there was a gap in the motoring industry where there is a lack of motor mechanics with the qualifications to work safely on hybrid and electric vehicles," she said.
"That is why we wanted to create our own training centre to offer that to all our local garages.
"Following on from COP26 and the Government's initiatives on green energy, it is also about ensuring we are meeting those goals in terms of sustainability."
Alongside speeches and networking, there were also various hybrid and electric vehicles on display as well as a simulator.
"It is just our chance to showcase what we have been working on," Harpreet said.
"It is our move towards that green energy. We are also having air source heat systems fitted on site as well so we are looking at our carbon footprint and the different things we do as a college."
The new training centre is planning to start courses on February 12, with BCA also offering discounts for those who attended Thursday's launch session.
Harpreet said that there was lots of interest generated from the mechanics last week.
"We had great networking going on, they [the mechanics] had a chance to speak to us and the external companies that we invited as well," she added.
"It was great for them as well for them to tell us what their needs are so that we can evolve, and it was also a great opportunity for us to show what we have to offer."
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