The UK has made big promises regarding energy efficiency. Billions of pounds have been poured into efforts to reach net zero by 2050. However, this funding has highlighted a serious roadblock – a desperate lack of skilled workers.
The Lack of Skilled Workers
A Lack of skilled tradespeople led to £53m of grant funding being returned to the government just last year alone. For instance, the Greater South East Net Zero Hub was awarded £78m intended to help install energy efficiency measures in 7,500 homes in fuel poverty in its area.
However, they did not have enough skilled workers to fulfil this need so as a result they only managed to improve 1,750 dwellings! This is only a quarter of the intended homes.
We were allocated £78m and we weren’t able to spend all of that funding because we did not have enough installers with the capacity to deliver in the region. It was incredibly disappointing.Maxine Narburgh, leader of the Greater South East Net Zero Hub
There are several energy initiatives in place right now that are drastically accelerating the need for a skilled workforce in the energy industry. For instance, the UK aims to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050 and the minimum energy efficiency standard for homes could potentially be raised as soon as 2035.
The Energy Systems Catapult predicts that upgrading just 10 million homes would require 46,500 full-time workers. Furthermore, (considering those who will not be working full-time) recent reports have suggested that the total workforce needed could be up to 200,000!
As the demand continues to grow, the training is following suit. The BBC writes that more than 500,000 training courses will be needed over the coming months and years. Some Local Enterprise Partnerships (such as New Anglia LEP) are offering publicly-funded skills boot camps in green skills, like retrofitting. Colleges are also responding to the urgent need for skilled workers, by including ‘green skills’ in their courses.
What does this mean for you?
If you are thinking about a career in the energy industry, please do not hesitate to get involved! You can become part of the solution to this growing demand and help bring the country into a greener, more efficient future.
One group at the forefront of this effort are Retrofit Assessors. They take old buildings and bring them into the modern age through energy upgrades. If you would like to look into becoming a retrofit assessor, please consider one of our professional training courses. We offer courses live online via zoom, as well as a completely distanced, self-led education option. Book your space online, or call us on 0333 012 0002.