With a further £9.7 million to be invested in cutting the costs of heat pumps as well as making them easier to install and reducing disruption to end users in order to accelerate the rollout, the training funding has been put in place to train installers to meet the increased demand.
The Heat Training Grant will provide heating engineers with grants of up to £500 towards training which is anticipated to cover most of the cost of a level 3 heat pump course, which takes one week or less for an experienced gas or oil heating installer to complete.
In addition, heating manufacturers including Baxi, NIBE, Panasonic, Vaillant, Ideal Heating and Worcester-Bosch are expected to offer additional discounts and offers to participating trainees. These benefits could be worth up to a further £500 in product vouchers, additional training and other support, helping trainees put their new skills into practice.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, Lord Callanan, said: “This funding will give the rollout of heat pumps a huge boost by making them cheaper and easier to install, and importantly helping more households move away from costly fossil fuels.
“But we need a skilled workforce to deliver this, so we’re training thousands of people to be experts at installing heat pumps and heat networks, driving the country’s push towards net-zero.
“We’re also making sure the cost of installing a heat pump is more affordable than ever before through grants of up to £6,000 through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme and a zero rate on VAT. So, it’s right we also put funding in place to train installers to meet demand.”
The government is currently seeking expressions of interest from training providers to offer the grants for heat pump training. Once the training providers have signed up and received approval, plumbers/heating engineers will be able to claim the grant at the point they sign up for training with the provider.
Karen Boswell, Managing Director UK and Ireland at heating manufacturer Baxi, said: “We welcome the government’s investment in developing the new skills needed to support the growth of low-carbon heating solutions in homes and buildings.
“We are fully committed to helping the industry transition to net zero, and we’re focused on helping individuals access opportunities to participate in the anticipated growth of air source heat pumps.”
Shaun Edwards, CEO Groupe Atlantic UK, ROI and North America Divisions, said: “At Ideal Heating we believe installers will play a critical role in the decarbonisation of heating and we welcome further government funding targeted at heat pump training. Our Ideal Heating Expert Academy has also committed to providing additional subsidised training for installers participating in the government scheme.
“This financial support, together with the forthcoming opening of our state-of the-art National Training and Technology Centre, will make the upskilling of the sector to install and maintain heat pumps as affordable and accessible as possible, to support the drive to net zero.”
Carl Arntzen, CEO of Worcester Bosch said: “We are delighted to see the announcement by government of the funding for installers to become qualified to install heat pumps. There is great interest in future technologies and with this funding installers can gain the confidence and skills to offer heat pumps to their customers.”
“We’re excited about this new training grant initiative and have been working closely with the government, providing advice and guidance to ensure any training grants offered benefit those working in the plumbing and heating industry,” says Neil Collishaw, CEO at BPEC.
“All BPEC’s heat pump qualifications have been included in the list of approved courses, and we will promote this initiative to all our centres that offer training across England.”
The latest support comes in addition to the £15 million government has already committed to developing skills in the energy efficiency and low carbon heating sectors since 2020.
The newly announced innovation programme runs alongside the government’s £450 million Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which provides up to £6,000 grants to homeowners towards the cost of a heat pump, and a zero rate of VAT, making clean heating measures even more affordable for people looking to replace gas or oil boilers in their property.
Work on installing heat pumps purchased through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme will begin in the successful projects from late December this year. The government expects heat pump deployment to reach 600,000 per year in 2028, a tenfold increase from 2021.