The Green Energy Skills Centre, at St Helens College, will enable heating engineers to learn the skills needed to install, commission and service air source heat pumps.
It will also provide a showpiece learning environment for students at the college, supporting a broader focus on green skills and energy.
As an Employer Partner, Ideal Heating has equipped the facility with its market-leading products, including its Logic Air heat pump and hot water cylinder, helping installers gain experience and confidence at working with these heating solutions.
It forms part of a commitment from Ideal Heating to support installers in the transition to low carbon heating solutions, such as heat pumps, and to help attract young people into the industry.
Lewis Litherland, a renewable energy lecturer at St Helens College, worked as an engineer for British Gas before making the switch to education.
He said: “I’m very passionate about creating a centre like this in St Helens, as I’ve come from a similar economic background to many of our students, and I’ve been fortunate to have fallen into an industry that has provided me with great opportunities.
Growing demand for skilled and qualified workers
“So, if I can play a part in providing this for more young people in a similar position, it would be a great personal achievement for me.”
The Green Energy Skills Centre has been launched to meet a growing demand for skilled and qualified workers for renewable energy industries to support the drive to a net zero economy.
Decarbonising homes is crucial to meet the UK Government’s 2050 net zero target but despite this, there remains a major shortage of skilled low carbon heating engineers.
Working with partners such as St Helens College, Ideal Heating is helping re-train thousands of installers to fit and maintain heat pumps.
Andrew Johnson, Training Director for Ideal Heating’s parent company Groupe Atlantic, said: “To tackle the skills gap which exists in the heating industry effectively, we need a two-pronged approach.
“The way we heat our homes is changing and it’s so important that existing installers learn the skills required to work with heat pumps and other low carbon solutions.
“We also need to focus on attracting more young talent into the industry. They are our installers of the future and, without them, we simply won’t succeed in this low carbon transition.”