By Gemma Childe on 15th Mar 2012
Hundreds of people are to receive training under new £3.5million programme to prepare them for green job opportunities.
Energy secretary Ed Davey announced the green skills funding last week to train workers for the Government's flagship Green Deal scheme.
The scheme, due to begin later in the year, aims to improve the energy efficiency of millions of commercial and residential properties by removing upfront payment barriers.
Around £3m of the funding is to be provided by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, while Green Alliance partner CITB-ConstructionSkills, will provide a further £500,000 towards training insulation installers.
Mr Davey said: “We have worked hand in hand with industry to get this right and are targeting funding at the areas where there is an urgent need as well as a clear demand. We hope this will encourage businesses across the country to fully prepare their staff for the launch of the Green Deal later this year."
The scheme hopes to generate about 65,000 green jobs by 2015. However, its success will depend on having enough trained and skilled green assessors and installers to support the scheme.
Mark Farrar, chief executive of CITB-ConstructionSkills, said the move marked a “significant step” towards preparing the construction industry for Green Deal, adding that training shortfalls were “one of the main barriers to the success of the scheme”.
He called on employers and the supply chain to invest in sustainable skills training for their workforce, in order to capitalise on the Green Deal.
Brian Smithers, business development director at Rexel UK, the electrical installation distributor, warned that training would “make or break” the scheme.
“In a complex and sometimes confusing market, it's crucial that the industry has the skills to help consumers make informed energy decisions. There is still a widespread lack of understanding of how green technologies can help people improve the energy efficiency of their homes and reduce bills,” he added.