EU battery 'academy' launched in France to combat skills shortage

by John Shepherd
Renault is converting its Flins car assembly plant near Paris into a major research and recycling hub for electric vehicle batteries, the development of energy storage systems and a vehicles repair centre. Photo: Renault
A skills and training programme for "tens of thousands” of workers is being launched in France, as the country ramps up its support for a Europe-wide battery cells manufacturing industry.

The French government and the European Union-backed sustainable energy investor, EIT InnoEnergy, have signed a memorandum of understanding to "reskill and upskill” workers for the French battery industry, under the European Battery Alliance’s ‘EBA250 Academy’.

The academy programme is already under way in Spain and EIT InnoEnergy plans to roll out the programme across Europe this year.

EU commissioner for the internal market, Thierry Breton, said 150,000 people in France will undergo training by 2025, "to support the transitioning of jobs to electric mobility and boost the competitiveness of the European battery sector”.

'Skills shortage'

EIT Innoenergy CEO, Diego Pavia, said the academy "will upskill people who will design and operate the European batteries value chain, from upstream to recycling”.

Pavia said the initiative ensures the EU can benefit from the battery value chain – expected to have a market value of around €250bn by 2025.

The academy initiative was launched after EU leaders were warned of a "growing skills shortage” facing Europe’s battery manufacturing industry, when they meet for a ministerial-level summit of the European Battery Alliance earlier this year.

Any engineers or executives working in the energy sector can apply to take part in the academy courses, which are largely held online. Training has been devised by experts working in the battery sector and cover a range of topics such as electromobility, residential storage and grid storage, to recycling and data science.

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