Situated at Harris Group’s headquarters on the Naas Road, the state-of-the-art Academy offers specialised training to electric vehicle technicians
The Academy is the first of its kind in Ireland and marks the latest in a series of innovations being spearheaded by the commercial vehicle distribution company
The Harris Group, last week welcomed Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton T.D. to its HQ on the Naas Road, to formally open its Electric Vehicle (EV) Training Academy. The newly-opened Academy is the first of its kind in Ireland and provides specialised training to the next generation of EV technicians. Plugging the knowledge gap among mechanics and repairs engineers, courses run at the Academy are a crucial component of ensuring a smooth transition from diesel to electric.
As one of Ireland’s largest vehicle importers and distributors, Harris Group is viewed as an optimal provider of the specialised training, in light of its 60 year track-record of quality service delivery. Given the Academy is already attracting trainees from a number of countries, Harris’ close proximity to Dublin Airport offers a level of convenience for overseas attendees. In addition, the transport company’s numerous partnerships with global manufacturers such as Higer, MAXUS and Isuzu, ensure that the courses will be delivered to a premium, industry-leading standard. In 2021 alone, Harris Group conducted 26 separate training courses, delivered to more than 140 technicians. The newly opened Academy is expected to build upon this foundation, with further plans to expand the Harris Group offering in the years ahead.
Among the features offered by the Academy opened by Minister Naughton today, is a dedicated learning portal, which provides bespoke, individualised training across electric systems, diagnostics, body and chassis technologies and emission control systems. The portal is available on a 24/7 basis and can be accessed by participants at their leisure.
Previously, in cases where an electric bus or light commercial vehicle required either routine or unscheduled maintenance works, the vehicle would often have to be sent abroad for repairs – leading to knock-on delays for passengers, as service provision was impacted. Through implementing a ‘fix it first time’ culture into the EV journey, the Academy will help to resolve this issue, by ensuring that Harris Group technicians have the ability to repair electric buses and light commercial vehicles promptly, safely and crucially, on-site.
Commenting on the investment and development CEO of Harris Group, Denise Harris said: “We were delighted to welcome Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton T.D., to officially open our Electric Vehicle Training Academy. At Harris Group, we are committed to delivering clean, green, sustainable transport solutions that help to accelerate our national journey towards decarbonisation. Industry preparedness is a key aspect of this, and so, we are proud to have established Ireland’s first dedicated learning centre for EV technicians – the Harris Group EV Training Academy”.
“The Academy will build upon Harris Group’s long standing philosophy of innovation in transportation. Through offering a dedicated education programme, specialist on-site teaching and 24/7 access to a virtual learning platform, the Academy will provide high-quality training across every aspect of vehicle maintenance. This is the first step in developing an extensive, home-grown network of expertly trained technicians who will have the knowledge and skill-set to repair any electric bus or light commercial vehicle on the market”.
Speaking at the launch of the Harris Group EV Training Academy, Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton T.D. stated: “I am delighted to officially open the Harris Group Electric Vehicle Training Academy. The green transition for transport will need a workforce with new skills and competencies and this is an excellent example of a proactive approach by industry to prepare now for the changes that are coming. Technicians with the knowledge and ability to work with electric vehicles will be more and more in demand in the coming years, so this initiative helps to support high quality skilled jobs here in Ireland. This capacity in the workforce will give confidence to businesses that supporting services are in place to enable their investments in cleaner, greener vehicles”.