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ESP Automotive Training Network Map 2022
ESP Automotive Training Network map


As part of ESP’s extended remit covering a number of emerging technologies and based on feedback from industry and our college members an Automotive Training Network was established in 2016. Since it’s inception the network has agreed a number of priorities with early activity focused on MOT tester training and certification and in 2017 ESP embarked on college staff CPD for electric vehicles. This was due to the emerging need highlighted by Transport Scotland who supported ESP to scale up CPD for electric vehicles across the training network with the aim to ensure Scotland is at the forefront of skills development in support of the Automotive sector.

Transport priorities

ESP’s role has changed significantly since its establishment in 2011 through the natural evolution of the skills agenda and related skills priorities as set out in the Scottish Government’s Energy Strategy, Climate Change Plan and aligning with the Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan resulting in a focus on 5 key priorities for the transport sector.

  • CESAP Implementation
  • Zero carbon transport technologies
  • Aerospace/Aviation
  • Maritime
  • Hydrogen technologies

Engage and Influence

ESP continues to have a strong working relationship with Transport Scotland.  Over the 2021-22 period we have continued to represent the college sector on Heavy Duty Vehicle skills group and are a member of the zero emissions mobility skills group, the group tasked with representing skills for transport as part of CESAP.

“Our continuing partnership with Transport Scotland has helped to position our automotive and hydrogen training network colleges in supporting the implementation of CESAP”

Capability and Capacity

Continued funding from Transport Scotland supported engineering staff from four colleges within UHI to attend Level 1 Electric Vehicle Maintenance facilitated at UHI Inverness.  The purpose of this was to position colleges within the Highlands and Islands to support their local community in EV awareness by increasing staff capability and capacity.  In addition, five more Electude desktop lockout EV trainers were ordered for use with colleges in the region.

Electric car purchased by ESP for shared training resource. Pictured at West Lothian College.

Additional purchase of Electric Vehicles brought the total of cars for EV training to five.  These are placed strategically round Scotland.   Following on from the purchase of Lucas Nülle Car Train and Truck Train in 2020-21, ESP ordered three first responder car train units.  These specialist units allow colleges to deliver training to first responders equipping them with the skills and knowledge to safely deal with the specific dangers EVs pose if involved in an accident.

November 2021 and February 2022 saw Dundee & Angus College host CPD sessions for staff on the Lucas Nülle Car Train and Truck Train.  As part of our reciprocal knowledge sharing, colleagues from Northern Regional College (NRC) in Ballymena were invited to attend.  NRC are developing hydrogen curriculum and invited staff from our member colleges to attend. 

ESP worked in partnership with Aberdeen City CouncilH2 AberdeenH2 Accelerator,  HyTrEc2 and SMART-HY-AWARE to produce a high quality, easily accessible, factual Hydrogen for Transport Course aimed at those intending on joining a hydrogen transport industry including school and college students.

Colleagues from New College Lanarkshire and Dundee & Angus represented the Automotive and Hydrogen Training Networks at All Energy, demonstrating the Lucas Nülle and Electude resources available for training.

In February 2022, colleagues from our Automotive and Hydrogen Training Networks attended a CPD session at the Kittybrewster hydrogen refuelling station in Aberdeen.  NESCOL hosted the networks and demonstrated their hydrogen bus training classroom.

College staff visit Kittybrewster hydrogen refuelling station in Aberdeen
Colleagues from ESP Automotive and Hydrogen Training Networks attending a CPD session at the Kittybrewster hydrogen refuelling station in Aberdeen.

NPA Maritime Studies was successfully delivered by UHI Argyll , UHI Outer Hebrides and NESCOL.  Leading on from the previous development of learning & teaching materials, all assessments have now been prior verified. 


  • Academic year 2021-22 consolidated the activities of the automotive training network, heavy duty vehicle working group and marine and maritime training network.
  • Representation of colleges at Transport Scotland’s zero emission mobility skills framework group, highlighting the activity of the automotive and marine & maritime training networks.
  • CPD for college staff on electric light and heavy duty vehicle shared resources.
  • CPD for college engineering staff in electric vehicle awareness within the Highlands and Islands region.
  • Pilot of a new booking system for share resources using automotive training network.

Partnership and Collaboration

ESP’s work within the transport sector has seen it become a recognised partner with Scottish Government, Transport Scotland, Energy Savings Trust, Scottish Funding Council, several industry bodies and more recently Space Scotland. The Space sector in Scotland continues to grow and ESP now represents the colleges on Space Scotland’s skills group and has been invited to join Transport Scotland’s baseline skills groups on Maritime and Aerospace/Aviation.

“The Space sector in Scotland continues to grow. ESP now represents the colleges on Space Scotland’s skills group and has been invited to join Transport Scotland’s baseline skills groups on Maritime and Aerospace/Aviation”

ESP was delighted to be nominated as a finalist as IMI partner of the year in recognition of the continuing relationship around Electric Vehicle skills.  As well as our collaboration with NRC, we have continued to have discussions with colleagues in Canada around hydrogen and transport developments.

Support from Transport Scotland allowed the purchase of a number of hydrogen car kits for STEM activities.  ESP have pulled together a SLWG with Ballard, who currently run a hydrogen STEM challenge, Transport Scotland, SHFCA and the Hydrogen Accelerator to develop a hydrogen STEM challenge.  Current planning for this challenge is that it will complement the existing Ballard challenge and be aimed at college students rather than school children.

The amount of shared resources has increased over the past few years, with a high proportion procured through funding from Transport Scotland.  The Lucas Nülle Car Train & Truck Trains, hosted by Dundee & Angus and New College Lanarkshire respectively, were used to pilot a new booking system.  This system will allow colleges to be able to plan delivery around when resources are available.  The system will also allow ESP to monitor usage of each resource and feedback to funders.  Following the success of the pilot, all ESP shared resources will be added to the new system and instructions of how to use will be circulated late 2022.