£9m boost to retrofitting with government investment in installer training

Training providers across England can bid for a share of government funding to offer courses in retrofitting and installing insulation.

Thousands to be trained to retrofit and install insulation to boost energy efficiency in homes across the country.

Thousands of people will be equipped with the right skills to make homes more energy efficient, thanks to new government funding which will see free or heavily discounted training courses rolled out across the country. 

Under the Home Decarbonisation Skills Training Competition, training providers are invited to bid for a share of the £8.85 million funding to help up to 8,000 people – whether current installers or those new to the industry – develop the skills and expertise needed to retrofit homes with energy saving measures.

The courses will cover a range of measures, such as installing loft insulation or draft proofing, helping to drive energy bills down and reducing emissions as well as delivering a much-needed increase in the number of trained installers.

Training providers have until 25 August 2023 to apply for the funding to deliver the courses, with training places expected to open later this year.

Creating a skilled workforce

Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said: “We’re investing billions of pounds to improve energy efficiency across the country – saving households hundreds on their bills while making sure Britain’s homes are fit for the future.

“We’ve already helped millions of people to do this, but we need an army of skilled professionals able to install insulation and other energy-saving measures in homes across the country.

“Today’s funding will give training providers the opportunity to put on the courses needed to help create the skilled workforce ready to join this rapidly growing market, with people able to benefit from these courses at low or no cost.”

The Home Decarbonisation Skills Training Competition will save trainees hundreds of pounds on accredited energy efficiency training.

Successful organisations will provide training and support to installers to help build the capacity of the supply chain and upskill individuals which will support organisations to gain PAS 2030 certification, the industry specification which all energy efficiency installers must be certified to and compliant with to participate in government funded schemes.

Training, which will be delivered until 31 March 2024, will be focused on 2 packages:

  • retrofit assessor and retrofit coordinator: provision and delivery of training to PAS 2035 standards
  • insulation: provision and delivery of training to National Occupation Standards or higher in the installation of domestic insulation measures

Increased workforce is fundamental to decarbonisation

Derek Horrocks, chairman of the National Insulation Association (NIA) and the National Home Decarbonisation Group (NHDG) said: “I am delighted to see the government is committing further funding towards retrofit skills and training through the Home Decarbonisation Skills Training Competition.

“Achievement of energy efficiency targets is vital to ensure that millions of people across the country can enjoy a warmer, healthier home. A fundamental requirement for achieving this ambition is building a workforce of sufficient size and skill to deliver.”

David Pierpoint, CEO of The Retrofit Academy, a leading training provider in retrofit courses, also welcomed the government funding saying: “It is essential we use this funding to unlock more talent, upskill workforces and drive the infrastructure required to decarbonise the UK housing.

The scheme builds on the £15 million provided since 2020 on skills training, which has delivered at least 16,000 opportunities in the energy efficiency, retrofit and low carbon heating sector.

The competition will run alongside the £5 million Heat Training Grant, which officially opened last month and aims to train more than 10,000 low-carbon heating installers to work on heat pumps and heat networks by April 2025.

The government is helping to make homes across the country more energy efficient through the Home Upgrade Grant, and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and will extend support further through ECO4 and The Great British Insulation Scheme.

These schemes are part of the £6.6 billion government is investing over this Parliament on clean heat and improving energy efficiency in buildings, reducing our reliance on fossil fuel heating. In addition, £6 billion of new government funding will be made available from 2025 to 2028.

Find out more about the Home Decarbonisation Skills Training competition.