Data Drives Change
The vehicle of the future will no longer function solely as a mode of transportation.
Car usage behaviour, electrification, sharing, autonomy and connectivity are all fundamentally shifting the automotive sector’s vision towards the integration of services around the product itself.
This makes sense because the ways that consumers access, purchase and use cars and other modes of transport are changing rapidly. New technologies and the massive use of the internet will have a huge impact on the use of vehicles and the very concept of mobility. There is also a growing public expectation that greater automation will lead to even higher standards of road safety and higher connectivity of vehicles, opening a wide range of new services. Thus, these changes will engender issues surrounding big data and cybersecurity, creating demand for horizontal skills and the migration of occupations from other sectors.
In the face of such seismic change, a European project – the Development and Research on Innovative Vocational Education Skills (DRIVES) project – has been commissioned to ensure the sector is future-proof and continues to compete on a global scale. Running from January 2018 until December 2021, the project brings together 24 partners from 11 EU countries with a large automotive presence, such as the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy.
Its broad objectives are to:
- Analyse key trends, covering the whole value chain
- Define future skills and job roles
- Identify skills gaps for foreseen changes − Analyse the current offering of training/
- Provide clear guidance for education
and training providers
The proposed outcomes of DRIVES include:
- Making training available for selected skills and job roles
- Ensuring mutual recognition of the skills and job roles across the EU
- Providing (as a pilot) training for 1,100 individuals across the EU
- Regularly delivering EC policy messages representing the automotive sector’s needs
As UK partner, Semta has been working with stakeholders on delivering the six expansive Work Packages laid out in the project overview. Though massive in scope and in the early stages of completion, the joint initiative is already beginning to bear fruit. In the initial phases, a clear priority has been the collection of usable data from stakeholders. To that end, significant research and analysis are currently being undertaken and will be released in December 2019 and covered in future editions of RevEAL. These include a survey launched in April 2019 to obtain responses from employers in the sector to review the key trends driving change, with the aim of identifying key skills and job roles. A second survey, launched in September 2019, seeks to gather intelligence about existing training provisions and opinions from education and training providers on how skills and training are changing.
As a prelude to these findings, a snapshot of the current situation of skills needs and offerings in the automotive sector has already been released. The snapshot distils data from a survey conducted among industry and related stakeholders, with information provided on the main drivers of change that are influencing future skills needs. The ‘Drivers of Change’ are those factors that are key to transforming the industry. A wider literature review, the European Automotive Skills Council and GEAR 2030 reports all supported the identification of five main ‘macro’ Drivers of Change, according to their relative importance and urgency (by 2020, 2025, 2030 or later).
- New technologies and business models
- Climate goals, and environmental and health challenges
- Societal changes and changes in the way consumers access,
purchase and use cars
- Structural change (restructuring, acquisition of new skills,
- Globalisation and the rise of new players
Adaptation to these main drivers will require sizeable investments in innovation, upskilling and reskilling. Semta’s Head of Commercial – UK Operations, Joanne Iceton, succinctly outlines the current circumstances surrounding the sector and defines Semta’s pivotal role and guiding ambition in it:
“The automotive sector faces huge challenges in the shifting world of future mobility. Structural changes, Industry 4.0 and decarbonisation, amongst other disruptive trends, require the attracting, upskilling and retraining of our workforce. In these global times, a shared international understanding of the drivers of change that shape our approach to training and skills is immensely important. The DRIVES project provides an international platform for Semta to share its technical expertise while learning about best practice from European partners in the development of impactful training approaches for the automotive sector. It ensures that Semta fills a leading strategic role in the European training ‘ecosystem’ as we develop programmes that reflect employers’ current and future skills needs. Our role has already allowed us to support the identification of key job roles and associated skills that will drive the global competitiveness of the EU’s automotive sector both today and in the future.”
To learn more about Semta’s insights on automotive skills and how we can support you to navigate these drivers of change, please contact our Customer Experience team at [email protected]. Be on the lookout for our report on apprenticeships in the sector, due in December 2019. Visit www.project-drives.eu/en/home.
This article was first published in RevEAL Autumn/Winter 2020.
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