Government’s ‘Green Deal Code’ will help tackle unqualified installers, say employers’ organisations

Government’s ‘Green Deal Code’ will help tackle unqualified installers, say employers’ organisations

The success of the ‘Green Deal Code’, outlined by the government yesterday (2nd June), will hinge on the availability of a workforce of highly trained and approved installers of environmental technology, say the organisations representing the employers of that workforce – SummitSkills, CITB-ConstructionSkills and Asset Skills.

The government has announced that only householders using approved installers will qualify for Green Deal funding, to ensure that the new environmental technology is effective and safely installed.

SummitSkills, the sector skills council for the building services engineering sector, is currently working on identifying which qualifications will be needed to enable today’s plumbers, electricians, heating and ventilating engineers, air conditioning and refrigeration experts to become the champions of the home energy efficiency measures included in the government’s ‘Green Deal’. SummitSkills recently established the National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies, a nationwide network of training providers which will help those workers to develop the skills UK households will need if the country is to reach the government’s commitment to a 50 per cent carbon reduction target by 2025.

SummitSkills’ chief executive Keith Marshall said, ‘Our experience unfortunately shows that there is likely to be a plethora of organisations trying to offer traders below-standard training to cash in on the extra interest generated by the government’s Green Deal announcement and the extra demand that it will create for renewable technologies like solar panels and ground and air source heat pumps. We welcome this recognition, provided by government through its criteria for financial assistance, that professionals need the right training and that households need to be able to depend on the skills of professionals they employ when they commit to doing their bit for the environment.’

To help businesses acquire these skills and understand the myriad policy and regulatory changes linked to carbon reduction, CITB-ConstructionSkills is running the Cut the Carbon campaign, a partnership between CITB-ConstructionSkills, the National Specialist Contractors Council and the Federation of Master Builders. The campaign supports small businesses in understanding what the new carbon legislation will mean for them and equipping them with a tangible mix of knowledge and skills to respond to increased client demand.

Mark Farrar, chief executive, CITB-ConstructionSkills, said, ‘Today’s announcement demonstrates with crystal clarity that skills and training are going to be central to the successful roll out of the Green Deal. It proves that any contractors that wish to reap the economic rewards of this massive retrofit programme will need to ensure they have the skills and knowledge to take part.’

Richard Beamish, chief executive of Asset Skills, said, ‘The Green Deal means new job opportunities and training for existing staff such as energy assessors, and the creation of new jobs such as energy advisors. We are working with the government and other SSCs on ensuring this workforce is skilled with accredited qualifications and trusted by the public.’

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