Government pumps £2.5m into new green skills academy

The government has announced £2.5 million in new funding to support the development of a national network of environmental training courses, to tackle the emerging shortfall in skilled workers capable of installing renewable energy technologies such as solar panels. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has announced that it will invest the money over the next three years in a new environmental technologies National Skills Academy.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced late last week that it will invest £2.5m over the next three years in a new environmental technologies National Skills Academy with a central administration and co-ordinating office in Milton Keynes.

The government funding is expected to be matched by employers, with a view to  delivering 202,000 qualified environmental professionals over the next five years.

An initial 14 colleges around England will work with 80 accredited training providers to offer qualifications in the design, installation and maintenance of technologies such as solar thermal systems, photovoltaic solar panels, heat pumps and water harvesting and recycling devices.

Keith Marshall, chief executive of SummitSkills, the body in charge of developing and accrediting the programme, said the new academy will boost the long-term prospects of the emerging renewables sector.

“Via the National Skills Academy we now have an accredited, quality-assured training infrastructure to ensure the sector has access to the skills it needs to meet the challenges and opportunities of the low-carbon economy,” he said.

Skills minister John Hayes added that the academy will be a platform for government and industry collaboration and help ensure the UK becomes a global leader in innovation.

“By giving the industries that design, install and maintain green solutions for homes and buildings access to world-class training, the academy will help ensure that the UK not only meets its emissions targets but leads the world in innovation,” he said.

The first accredited Skills Academy colleges will be in Bedford, Blackburn, Bradford, north-west London, Cornwall, Dudley, Hartlepool, Leeds, Liverpool, Stephenson College in Leicestershire, Stourbridge, The Genesis Project at Somerset College, Trafford and Weston-super-Mare.

Source: BusinessGreen.com (Gemma)

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About dbda
dbda is a corporate social responsibility consultancy embracing education and safety in the community. We are privileged to work with a large number of blue chip corporate clients, Government organisations, charitable bodies, Institutes and local authorities. We also have a network of schools, professional bodies, associations, universities and partners, with whom we regularly work in collaboration.

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