A £1.3million project has been launched to train mechanics how to repair electric and hybrid vehicles.

Blackburn College is the driving force behind Lancashire Automotive Skills Accelerator Project funded by the Department for Education, which will bridge the skills gap in low-carbon vehicle mechanics.

The project, which was officially launched at the college on Tuesday, will create low-carbon skills centres across the county, providing significant investment in cutting-edge technologies and upskilling teachers to ensure that courses meet the needs of employers and the industry.

The skills centres will support the Government’s commitment to withdrawing the sale of new petrol or diesel cars in 2030 as part of the UK’s net-zero targets.

Nicola Clayton, director of business development and external engagement at Blackburn College said: “We are thrilled to have launched the Lancashire Automotive Skills Accelerator Project, which will be a vital tool in helping to bridge the skills gap in low carbon vehicle mechanics in Lancashire”.

The project will work with dealerships and independent garages to train the employees of the future in the safe, service repair and maintenance of electric and hybrid vehicles.

The Institute of the Motor Industry expect a requirement for 90,000 technicians by 2030 with a 35,700 shortfall.

The project will create five electric and hybrid vehicle skills centres across Lancashire at Blackburn College, Blackpool and the Fylde College, Lancaster and Morecambe College, Myerscough College and Nelson and Colne College Group.

Specialisms will include electric and hybrid vehicle service, repair and maintenance, motor sport, plant vehicle technology, battery technology and charging infrastructure.

A Lancashire Independent Garage Network will be established to support motor vehicle businesses with skills, advice and guidance on how to meet the future industry demands for electric and hybrid vehicles and to adapt their business for growth.