First Minister Mark Drakeford had the opportunity to meet some of the electric car mechanics of the future on a visit to Coleg Cambria in Wrexham.
The students are currently enrolled on a Level 3 Motor Vehicle course which will enable them to access Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Technology. The learners will then be given the opportunity to enrol on a Level 3 City and Guilds qualification for the Repair and Servicing of Hybrid/Electric Vehicles.
They are able to do this at the Bersham site which is a cutting-edge facility combining the latest technology and equipment with interactive learning.
The course has been available since September this year and will help to increase the number of mechanics able to work on electric cars.
The Bersham site has also benefited from the Welsh Government’s 21st century schools and colleges programme with an investment of more than £13m.
The First Minister said: “It’s been a real pleasure to meet the electric car mechanics of the future at Coleg Cambria. We want to see the use of electric vehicles rise as we deal with the climate emergency.
“We need to do more in the next ten years than we’ve done in the last thirty if we’re to reach our NetZero target by 2050. Making the switch to an electric vehicle is one way that we can make a big difference.
“It is vital that we have the skills in Wales to maintain electric vehicles and it’s great to see this development at Coleg Cambria.
“We recently launched the Young Person’s Guarantee, a key commitment of this government. The aim of the guarantee is to provide everyone under 25 with the support to gain an offer of education, training, employment and self-employment.
“Working Wales is the single, easy access gateway to the Young Person’s Guarantee.
“The kind of forward-thinking course offered here in Coleg Cambria is an example of what is on offer for our young people.”
Cambria’s Principal Sue Price said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the First Minister and show him around the modern and innovative facilities we have here at Bersham Road in Wrexham.
“Our electric and hybrid vehicle training facility was one of the first in the country and at the forefront of advances in the motor industry. Cambria will play a pivotal role in training the next generation of mechanics to meet a surge in demand for these skills, as the UK works towards the transition from petrol and diesel to fossil-free, zero-emission travel.
“The global focus on climate change and lowering our carbon footprint means we will use the technology we have at our disposal to lean into other areas and forge new partnerships that will make a positive difference to our environment for generations to come.
“To be able to demonstrate that to the First Minister was heartening for the staff and students here in Wrexham, and we thank him for his support.”
The First Minister also met with two enterprising young blacksmiths from Wrexham on his visit. Inspired by the family trade, cousins Ollie and Harvey Roberts, aged 13 and 12, from Borras were taught metalwork by their grandad, Anthony Roberts. During the first lockdown in March, and using the new knowledge and skills they gained, they decided to start their own blacksmith business and have created a number of goods including brackets for hanging baskets and have renovated a go-kart.
The First Minister said: “Ollie and Harvey are a real inspiration and it’s been a pleasure to hear about their achievements. I wish them very well for the future.
“It is vital that we foster the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs through the Young Person’s Guarantee. The young people that I have met today have been empowered with insights, skills and confidence that will enable them in the future for whatever challenges that lay ahead of them.”