Empowering Tomorrow's Workforce: IYF's Breakthrough in Shaping Mexico's EV Industry

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IYF Electric Vehicles


Earlier this month, IYF launched the world’s first competency model for manufacturing electric vehicles (EV), defining the critical skills for this burgeoning field and guiding the development of talent pipelines. The global automotive industry is undergoing a remarkable transformation. By 2030, the International Energy Agency expects EV to constitute 30% of all new car sales, while McKinsey & Company estimates the market could be worth $560 billion by then, potentially creating 20 million new jobs. Major automakers like Tesla, Volkswagen, and General Motors are heavily investing in EV production, signaling a significant shift towards a sustainable future with economic and employment opportunities.

The Mexican automotive sector, encompassing both automobiles and auto parts, constitutes 4% of Mexico's GDP, or $72 billion USD, and provides jobs for 1.6% of the national labor force, approximately 1 million jobs, often featuring highly competitive salaries. For instance, in Puebla, known as Mexico's "Motor City," automotive workers earn 30% more than their counterparts in other manufacturing sectors. Salaries tend to rise with increasing job specialization, a trend expected to continue, particularly with the industry's shift towards EV production. IYF foresees a growing demand for skilled employees in this evolving landscape. 

Given the significance of the Mexican automotive industry, IYF closely monitored its transition to electric vehicle (EV) production and noted substantial developments by late 2022. At that point, eight assembly plants had already commenced the production of electric cars, and there were plans in progress for an additional 180 EV assembly plants. In addition, Tesla announced the establishment of an assembly plant in Nuevo Leon, while the Mexican government initiated the expansion of its section of the San Jerónimo-Santa Teresa port of entry between Chihuahua and New Mexico, anticipating a surge in EV spare parts manufacturing. The magnitude, extent, and pace of the Mexican auto industry's transformation to produce electric vehicles prompted IYF to swiftly identify crucial skills for this emerging sub-industry.

IYF is a global leader in building robust talent pipelines in growing economies like Mexico. Applying its proven Bridging the Gap Approach, IYF develops public-private partnerships to identify and address the skills gaps that impede youth economic opportunities and economic development. 

Take as an example IYF’s recent partnership with LinkedIn and the Mexican National Auto Parts Industry Association (INA). Leveraging data from LinkedIn’s Economic Graph’s Data for Impact program, IYF: 1) refined its preliminary list of critical skills for electric vehicle production, 2) gauged the extent to which these skills were prevalent in the labor pool across different states, and 3) assessed how the diffusion of these skills had evolved over time.

IYF, working through a public-private partnership with the National Auto Parts Industry Association (INA), developed and validated the Electric Vehicle Manufacturing competency model. During the fall of 2023, IYF interviewed experts and INA member firms about the transition to electric vehicles and critical skills for entry-level positions.  IYF analyzed the interview data and categorized the industry-identified critical skills in order of complexity using the Career One Stop competency model framework developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. At a joint event with INA, IYF presented the competency model to industry experts with Mexico’s most important auto parts manufacturers. During the workshop, participants validated the competency model and prioritized among the critical skills. 

Industry critical skills to power the energy transition consistently include the higher-order thinking skills that young people will require to transform entire industries from the inside out, with every purchase, process, product, and service.  Today, IYF is partnered with the industry to develop a new curriculum and train instructors to teach those skills, deploying learner-centered methodologies to develop industry-demanded higher-order thinking skills. Later this year, IYF will pilot the new curriculum in public schools before scaling the curriculum through public school systems across the country. 

IYF’s Bridging the Gap methodology has inserted over 4,000 hours of demand-driven curricula into public school curricula around the world, with over 52,000 young people enrolled in IYF developed curriculum every year. On average, 60% of graduates from IYF developed curricula secure formal employment 4 to 6 months after completion and earn 26% more than their peers. IYF has applied its Bridging the Gap methodology with 11 economic sectors ranging from logistics to IT to hospitality, helping employers and education and training providers respond to economic megatrends including digital disruption, the advent of AI, and climate change. 

Elizabeth Vance is the Technical Director for Latin America & the Caribbean