19 May 2022

CIT charged to train Canberra's mechanics, first responders in electric technology

| James Coleman
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Hands reach in to work on new electric and hydrogen components.

A new training facility allows students to safely learn an in-demand trade while working on technology from up to 20 auto manufacturers. Photo: File.

As more cars rely less on fossil fuels, there’s a growing need for qualified technicians to service and repair new electric and hydrogen vehicles.

The Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) has risen to the challenge and opened the city’s first electric vehicle (EV) and hydrogen training program at a dedicated workshop in Fyshwick.

Minister for Skills Chris Steel said it was important the local community had access to training for in-demand industries.

“CIT’s new electric and hydrogen vehicle training facility will power Canberra’s renewable transport revolution and equip the workforce with the skills to work in zero-emissions transport,” Minister Steel said.

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The facility houses simulated training systems which allow students to safely learn about high-voltage electric, hybrid and fuel-cell drivetrains on light and heavy vehicles from 20 auto manufacturers.

CIT CEO Leanne Cover said the team worked in step with industry experts to come up with the design.

“We have worked closely with Tesla and other manufacturers to ensure CIT’s electric-vehicle training for light and heavy vehicles is cutting-edge to meet local skills needs now and in the future,” she said.

A hydrogen testing facility in Fyshwick

Evoenergy in Fyshwick tests the levels of hydrogen that can mix with natural gas. They run this facility in conjunction with CIT. Photo: Region Media.

Canberra’s first EV apprentices will be trained under a new Certificate III in Electrical Vehicle Technology.

More than 160 workers have already expressed interest in upskilling in EV safety and maintenance across a variety of programs, including the apprenticeship.

The program won’t just be for mechanics.

Minister Steel said the new facility would also train first responders to safely deal with accidents involving electric vehicles, which carried different risks to petrol cars.

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“This new course is a great example of the type of future-focused training we want Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) to start developing to meet the skills needs of the new economy,” he said.

Last year, the ACT Government announced that every Transport Canberra diesel mechanic would be trained to work on zero-emission buses.

“Our renewables transition is going to create lots of new jobs and bring fundamental changes to existing ones,” Minister Steel said. “We want Canberrans to be skilled up and ready so they can benefit from the opportunities ahead.”

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