GTEC & Highlands College unveil Jersey’s first net zero training centre 

With support from Jersey Government’s Retrain initiative, Highlands College has introduced a state-of-the-art net zero training facility.  

GTEC & Highlands College team up to launch Jersey's first net zero training centre

This cutting-edge addition aims to fulfil the growing demand for training and assessment in crucial technologies, aligning with the government’s ambitions outlined in the Carbon Neutral Roadmap. 

The facility, developed in partnership and under the expert guidance of GTEC, provides the resources required to train and assess candidates in installing a range of technologies, including Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) – expected to be one of the lead alternatives to fossil fuel heating. 

Empowering local talent and driving opportunities 

Prior to the opening of this provision, operatives could only gain the required qualifications by travelling off-island. On-island training and assessment enable more local operatives to upskill by reducing the barriers to accessing the training needed to take advantage of the opportunities presented by Jersey’s transition away from gas and oil. Furthermore, future apprentices in the building services sector will now be able to work on the latest low carbon heating solutions. 

GTEC & Highlands College team up to launch Jersey’s first net zero training centre

These courses and others in the development phase also align with the Government initiative to develop The Contractor Quality Scheme (CQS), a Jersey-specific quality assurance scheme to approve contractors wishing to carry out government-funded work as part of the new low carbon heating incentive. 

Cultivating a greener future and skilled workforce 

Tony Tyrer, assistant principal – planning and skills at Highlands College, said: “Highlands College plays a crucial role in the training and upskilling of Islanders; it is therefore imperative that as a college, we are responsive to the needs of the island. 

“The Government plans to bring into force legislation that updates current building regulations and sets increased energy efficiency and carbon emission standards and prohibits new fossil fuel boilers being installed in any property after 1st January 2026. We need to be training the workforce of the future now.” 

Griff Thomas, MD of GTEC Training Ltd, said: “We have been delighted to help setup and deliver training in partnership with Highlands College, there are some ambitious targets in Jersey for carbon reduction, and this has to be underpinned by ensuring that installers have access to the high-quality training that they need, without having to leave the island.” 

During the official launch, where the minister for the economy, Kirsten Morel, and minister for education, Inna Gardiner attended the centre, Griff introduced the Heatly app, which has been designed to make heat pump specification and installation more accessible by digitising and simplifying processes such as heat loss calculations and site survey.  

Commitment to lifelong learning and community impact 

Heatly, currently under development, is being made available to students at Highlands College to enhance their learning while providing usability testing for the app. Griff is part of the development team behind Heatly. 

Jo Terry-Marchant, principal of Highlands College, said: “We are in continuous consultation with employers, industry leads, partners and the Government of Jersey, not just in construction but across all curriculum areas. This collaborative approach enables us to ensure that our courses offer the latest in best practices and are future-ready. Our mission is to transform lives through lifelong learning.” 

In our latest mini-series, we speak with Griff Thomas to find out how the success of the Jersey scheme could be replicated in the UK.