A new wave of low-carbon heating and insulation installers will be created through thousands of discounted training spaces in an attempt to boost the green jobs sector.
The Department for Energy Security & Net Zero (DESNZ) has announced that up to 8,000 people will be able to access training to develop the skills and knowledge to retrofit homes and install insulation under the remit of the Home Decarbonisation Skills Training scheme.
A further 4,000 people will also be able to get £500 towards training to install and maintain heat networks through the Heat Training Grant.
Furthermore, the department says the Low Carbon Heating Technician Apprenticeship – the first of its kind – will provide training on how to install low-carbon heating systems such as heat pumps on the job, supporting delivery of the expanded Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
John Szymik, chief executive of Octopus Energy Services, said: “Heat pumps are like magic – they turn one unit of energy into four units of heat. People who switch from a gas boiler to a heat pump can not only reduce their energy bills, they also help wean the UK off gas.
“We’ve already invested over £50 million into the heat pump industry but we need an army of green workers to roll them out at scale. This apprenticeship scheme makes green jobs more accessible, helping to boost the UK economy while getting us closer to net zero.”
Lord Callanan, minister for energy efficiency and green finance, said: “The UK is a world leader when it comes to reducing carbon emissions, and we’re investing billions of pounds to help decarbonise the nation’s heating, saving homes and businesses energy and cutting bills.
“To do that we’re helping to improve the energy efficiency of homes and ensure they have access to cutting-edge low-carbon heating technologies such as heat pumps and heat networks.
“With consumer demand for these measures set to surge in the coming years, the funding announced today will help to create the skilled workforce that will be needed.”
Under the £8.85 million Home Decarbonisation Skills Training scheme, free or low-cost courses are being made available through training providers, such as colleges and accreditation providers, across England.
As DESNZ explains, training and support will be given to installers to help build the capacity of the supply chain and upskill individuals. This will include installer training that leads to a recognised qualification NVQ or equivalent, and short courses.
Jennifer Coupland, chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education (IFATE), said: “Low carbon heating will be vital with supporting our nation’s drive to net zero by 2050. It’s no good making these leaps in technology if we don’t have thousands of people out there trained up to fit and maintain the pumps and other equipment.
“This apprenticeship will provide exciting opportunities for the next generation to establish themselves in a fast-growing sector and be available to people of all ages to upskill, so everyone reaps the career benefits and can play their part in making homes and the economy more sustainable.”
Ian Rippin, chief executive of standards body, MCS said: “The launch of the UK’s first ever low-carbon heating technician apprenticeship marks a step towards a greener workforce for the future. Thousands more skilled and qualified installers will be needed to reach the nation’s net zero targets. Apprenticeships will form a vital part of achieving that goal and making the UK a world leader when it comes to green technology and jobs.
“The apprenticeship scheme will provide certainty to businesses who will know that their employees have the skills they need and that there is a pipeline of installers, helping to grow this vital part of the green economy.”
Image credit: Nagy-Bagoly Arpad/Shutterstock
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