Drives & Controls November/December 2023

NEWS n A NEW INITIATIVE IS OFFERING information on the skills, competencies and training needed to work in the PEMD (power electronics, machines and drives) sector. Called the PEMD Body of Knowledge – or PEMDBoK – it will allow individuals, employers, recruiters and others to access information on the skills and capabilities needed by the sector. The framework, developed in a collaboration between industry and academic experts led by Coventry University, is being described as “game-changing” for a sector which is expected to generate more than £12bn of revenue by 2025 and to create more than 169,000 new jobs. The PEMDBoK is being hosted on the Electric Revolution Skills (ERS) Hub Web site.“PEMD requires a broad and evolving set of skills and competencies that traditionally have been challenging to navigate for individuals and organisations – a problem exacerbated by differences in language used by employers, course providers and learners,” explains Petar Igic, the ERS Hub’s academic director. “This situation is holding the sector back and preventing new talent from entering at exactly the time companies need them. If we don’t try to reverse this trend, then the UK could quite easily find itself falling behind in the electrification race. “We had to do something about this and by bringing together more than 100 different industry and academic experts, we have come up with The Power Electronics, Machines and Drives Body of Knowledge,”Igic adds. “The aim is to start bridging the skills gap by establishing a shared framework of technology, skills, and proficiencies, emphasising continuous learning and evolution. “The issue is that there aren’t enough people to fill those 169,000+ jobs,”Igic points out. “While there are multiple engineers with experience and recent graduates, only a few decide to enter the PEMD field. “There are multiple reasons for this. Employers would rather hire experienced engineers than train people, unappealing job offers, unclear requirements/skills for roles, or a language gap in industry and education. “ERS Hub and BoK aim to support at both ends of the spectrum,”Igic concludes. “By creating a common language, we allow recruiters and employers to easily create ‘standardised’job profiles that can be understood, whilst also helping education and course providers to design their courses/training to better meet those demands.” body-of-knowledge Skills initiative aims to attract people to UK’s £12bn PEMD sector Petar Igic: a lack of skills knowledge is holding back PEMD sector