Department for Energy Security & Net Zero
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Thousands of low-cost training spaces available in boost to green jobs sector

Thousands of new training places available for retrofitting, heat networks and heat pump installations.

  • Up to 8,000 people will be trained in retrofitting and installing insulation
  • A further 4,000 trainees will receive £500 discount on training to install and maintain heat networks
  • Launch of first-ever apprenticeship to train next generation of heat pump installers

A new wave of low-carbon heating and insulation installers will be created through thousands of heavily discounted training spaces in a boost to the green jobs sector.

From Thursday 21 September, up to 8,000 people – including current installers and those who are new to the industry – will be able to develop the skills and expert knowledge needed to retrofit homes and install insulation through a host of training providers thanks to 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.

And the Low Carbon Heating Technician Apprenticeship, the first of its kind, will provide people with the chance to learn how to install low-carbon heating systems on the job, supporting delivery of the expanded Boiler Upgrade Scheme which gives hard-working families the opportunity to make the switch away from fossil fuel heating.

The schemes are aimed at creating a high-skilled workforce for now and the future, scaling-up energy efficiency and low-carbon heating installations and supporting the Prime Minister’s plan to reach net zero in a pragmatic and proportionate way, while delivering on his priority to grow the economy.

This will help to generate hundreds of new green job opportunities, supporting the nation’s push for greater energy security and independence.

The schemes announced build on the £15 million provided since 2020 on skills training, which have delivered at least 16,000 opportunities in the energy efficiency, retrofit and low carbon heating sector.

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 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 will be available through training providers, such as colleges and accreditation providers, across England.

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.

Training, which will be delivered until 31 March 2024, will be focused on 2 packages.

  • Retrofit assessor and retrofit coordinator: provision and delivery of training to PAS 2035 standards
  • Insulation: provision and delivery of training to National Occupation Standards or higher in the installation of domestic insulation measures

Under the £5 million Heat Training Grant, 5 new training providers – based across England – will help develop a new generation of heat network professionals by offering courses to upskill and teach them how to install and maintain them.

They are:

  • Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) Academy
  • Sycous Limited
  • Chirpy Heating
  • Herts Energy Academy
  • Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)

The scheme will provide £500 off the cost of training per person, which usually costs between £500 and £600 to complete – meaning all or most of the course cost will be covered by the government.

Applicants simply sign up for the training through their chosen provider and confirm they are eligible for the grant. Thousands of trainees will receive the practical training needed for heat networks, including feasibility and design, construction, operation and maintenance. Courses will be available to trainees from October 2023 to April 2024.

The Low Carbon Heating Technician apprenticeship will be available across England and has been designed by industry experts.

It will allow new entrants into the heating sector to learn how to install low carbon heating technologies including heat pumps, and will offer sustainable long term career opportunities.

Jennifer Coupland, chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE), which designed the new training programme, 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, CEO of low-carbon 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.

John Szymik, CEO 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.

Notes to editors

More details on the Home Decarbonisation Skills Training competition can be found at: Home Decarbonisation Skills Training competition: successful projects.

A full list of training providers for the Heat Training Grant can be found at: Training providers: apply to offer the Heat Training Grant for heat networks.

The Heat Training Grant launched for heat pump trainees, offering £500 off the cost of training to install heat pumps, in July this year.

Places for a Low Carbon Heating Technician apprenticeship can be found through the Apprenticeship training courses finder.

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