AW Repair Group (AW) has become the first UK bodyshop to sign up to electric vehicle (EV) training provided through Thatcham Research’s EV Ready programme.
Following the programme’s launch in July, AW says it will put its entire workforce, including its administration teams, through the programme.
The EV Ready training programme, which consists of online and face-to-face learning, aims to help technical and non-technical staff gain EV skills and awareness.
Included are topics such as EV technology identification, health and safety awareness for non-technical teams and EV working voltages, components, tools, equipment and repair competence.
Steve Hoe, technical development and VM manager at AW Repair, said: “We have been investing in EV training and equipment for quite some time now and as a result, have some highly trained EV technicians, particularly at our specialist centres. However, for us it’s vital that the whole team across all our sites understand the risks of working with EVs.”
He continued: “This training is not just for our technicians and body shop staff. We plan to reach all corners of our business, with EV Ready forming the basis of a standardised learning and induction process for all current employees and new starters, including apprentices.
“From customer liaison advisors to valet and transport to behind-the-scenes staff, everyone at AW will complete EV Ready.”
Having already completed all the modules himself, Hoe is familiar with the course content and its focus on ensuring safety for anyone who comes into contact with an EV.
“It’s important that we take all possible steps to educate our employees on the potential hazards and how to avoid them,” he said. “We have already had positive feedback from our team, who are excited to get involved.
“This is about getting ahead of the curve and continuing to develop a reputation for safe and efficient EV repairs. We are guaranteeing the education of our employees and giving confidence to customers bringing their vehicles in for repair.”
Dean Lander, head of repair sector services at Thatcham Research, added: “With more than one million electrified vehicles on UK roads, insurers and other work providers are looking for network capability. Our certified programme will help body shops protect their staff and build a future-ready business.
“Andrew Walsh and the team at AW are at the forefront when it comes to technology. Therefore, it was obvious from the start that this was the right programme for them. Now the work starts to support the whole team to become EV Ready and demonstrate that readiness to their customers.”