Blackburn College has invited Department for Education officials to take a first look at its new Hybrid Electric Automotive Training Center (HEAT), which is due to open later this year.
HEAT is part of the £1.3million Lancashire Automotive Skills Accelerator project, which will fill the skills gap in low-carbon vehicle mechanics. The facility will focus on servicing, servicing and repairing electric and hybrid vehicles.
The centre, located in the College’s Regional Automotive Technology Center (RATH), will support the government’s commitment to phase out the sale of new petrol or diesel cars by 2030 as part of the UK’s net zero targets.
The college leads the Lancashire Automotive Skills Accelerator project funded by the Department of Education, as part of the Skills Accelerator Strategic Development Fund.
Department of Education officials toured the new facility along with representatives from a number of the college’s partner garages, including Bowker BMW, Chorley Nissan, West Riding Hyundai and Alan Price Automobile Services.
A Department for Education spokesman said: “Departmental colleagues have been delighted to see first-hand how the Strategic Development Fund is enabling Blackburn College to meet local skills priorities, reduce carbon emissions and stimulate the economy.
“Managed by the Department of Education, the fund gives colleges access to state-of-the-art equipment, such as Blackburn’s world-class automotive facilities, which will help provide the skills needed to enable even more businesses automobiles to service hybrid and electric vehicles.”
Dr Fazal Dad, Principal and Chief Executive of Blackburn College, said: “HEAT will be a vital tool in helping to bridge the skills gap in low carbon vehicle mechanics in Lancashire.
“By working alongside businesses, we will be able to provide our students with access to advanced hybrid and electric vehicle technology and skills development that will help meet the needs of their future employers.