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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.

Engage and Influence

ESP continues to have a strong working relationship with Transport Scotland.  Since 2018 we have represented the college sector on several skills groups for light and heavy duty road vehicles, aviation and maritime.  ESP sits on Transport Scotland’s 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 to 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 cars available as a shared resource for EV training to five, which are placed strategically around Scotland. Following on from the purchase of Lucas Nülle CarTrain and TruckTrain ESP ordered Lucas Nülle first responder CarTrain 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.

Dundee & Angus College hosted CPD sessions for staff on the Lucas Nülle CarTrain and TruckTrain.  As part of our reciprocal knowledge sharing, colleagues from Northern Regional College (NRC) in Ballymena were invited to attend.

Hydrogen Skills Project

ESP has several Lucas Nülle UniTrain desktop units with hydrogen fuel cell technology and automotive electrical fundamentals. Our Automotive and Hydrogen Training Networks have access to these units and use them to enhance learning with students and for demonstrations.

Through support from Transport Scotland, ESP were also able to acquire a 50 watt fuel cell trainer and a hybrid hydrogen energy lab system and associated experiments, to be situated at Michelin Scotland Innovation Scotland Parc skills academy,  which will be available for use  for colleges within hydrogen training network. This is part of a larger plan to have a range of hydrogen training equipment at MSIP to support hydrogen skills within Scotland.

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 College represented the Automotive and Hydrogen Training Networks at All Energy, demonstrating the Lucas Nülle and Electude resources available for training.

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.

Projects and Training Networks

Automotive Training Network

Our Automotive Training Network was established in 2016 as part of ESP’s extended remit covering a number of emerging technologies and based on feedback from industry and our college members.

Since its inception, the network has agreed a number of priorities with early activity focused on MOT tester training and certification and in 2017, highlighted as an emerging need by Transport Scotland, ESP embarked on college staff Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for electric vehicles.

Transport Scotland 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.

ESP Contact – Rachel Tulloch

ESP in partnership with Transport Scotland produced a promotional video to highlight and raise awareness of the offering from Scotland’s Colleges in Safe working with electric vehicles.

ESP participated in Scotland’s Contribution To COP26: a joined-up Just Transition online event. The event not only examined the speed and scale at which Scotland must move to tackle climate change, but also ensured that no-one is left behind in the process. ESP hosted Session 1 of the event which focussed on Skills Collaboration and the Transition to Net Zero and this third video of four focusses on Low Carbon Transport.

Hydrogen Training Network

Hydrogen energy plays an important part in the transition to net zero in line with Scottish Governments target for 2045. As an emerging technology, there is a need to raise awareness among future users of hydrogen. Through our discussions with industry and government agencies, ESP identified the need to develop the capability and capacity of Scotland’s colleges to address the expected significant demand for hydrogen skills and established the Hydrogen Training Network in 2019.  There are synergies across both the hydrogen training network and automotive training network with network activity taking place across both.

ESP continues to develop the capability and capacity of the Hydrogen Training Network through learning journeys, webinars, sharing of existing college expertise and speaking with industry experts and technology partners.

Our first online course was a hydrogen awareness course in partnership with UHI Orkney College and Dundee & Angus College, is aimed at anyone with interest in the hydrogen sector including school students and local communities as well as those students attending college.  The Scottish Government Hydrogen Policy team use this course as an induction tool.

ESP Contact – Rachel Tulloch

Marine and Maritime Network

Our Marine & Maritime Training Network was set up in 2019 to support the offshore activities of our Wind Training Network.  We held two events in collaboration with HIE aimed at maritime training across Scotland.  This led to the development of learning & teaching materials for NPA Maritime Studies which is now successfully delivered by UHI ArgyllUHI Outer Hebrides and NESCOL.

ESP Contact – Rachel Tulloch

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.

The portfolio of shared resources has increased over the past few years, with a high proportion procured through funding from Transport Scotland.  The Lucas Nülle CarTrain & TruckTrain equipment, 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.