Skills boost for Wales’ low carbon future
Over the past 18 months, the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) has been working with a number of the industry-led Sector Skills Councils to deliver training in support of Wales’ movement towards a low carbon economy.
The outcome of this partnership has been the investment by Welsh Government in a £1.8m Delivering Low Carbon Skills project which is supported by funding from the European Social Fund. It is estimated that in total the project will have provided training to over 1,000 participants from across Wales, including nearly 500 Welsh businesses.
Training has ranged from those job roles involved in supporting energy efficiency within homes through to the maintenance of large scale wind turbines, focusing on the following areas:
- Domestic Energy Advice;
- Commercial Building Energy Advice;
- Bolt-on in Sustainable Construction for Construction Apprentices;
- Sustainable Construction Top-up for existing workforce;
- Solid Wall Insulation;
- Heritage Skills;
- New Build and Modern Methods of Construction;
- Qualifications and up-skilling in Wind Turbine Operation & Maintenance;
- Environmental Technologies, including Solar Thermal, Solar Photovoltaic and Heat Pump qualifications.
Working in partnership
Construction Skills, Asset Skills, Energy and Utility Skills and Summit Skills, worked in partnership to access the Welsh Assembly Government’s Sector Priorities Fund (SPF) pilot programme. The Group established a funding package for pilot training, capacity building and skills development, to support the stimulation and growth of a low carbon built environment workforce in Wales.
Links have also been made to existing energy efficiency programmes in Wales, with many businesses involved in the Arbed Scheme also benefiting from training.
The Arbed programme is the Welsh Government’s Strategic Energy Performance Investment Programme, supporting commitments to reduce climate change, help eradicate fuel poverty and boost economic development and regeneration in Wales. Established in 2009, the programme is designed to bring environmental, social and economic benefits to Wales and coordinate investment into the energy performance of Welsh homes.
A cultural shift
The key outcome of the pilot project has been the creation of a cultural shift among training providers, like Further Education colleges, in terms of their understanding of the types of training needed by businesses to the low carbon challenge.
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