UK’s renewables training provider grows with heat pump sector

GTEC Training has reported substantial growth, mirroring the expanding renewables sector’s demand for trained installers needed for the heat pump rollout.

Two heat pumps in a room.

The company has delivered over 2,000 heat pump-related courses since April 2021. Additionally, there was a notable increase in the number of air source heat pump (ASHP) trainees attending sessions at their headquarters in Hawes, North Yorkshire, with figures from March 2024 showing a significant rise compared to the same period last year.

Buoyed by funding schemes such as the Renewable Heat Installer Training and Support Scheme (RHITSS) and more recently the Heat Training Grant (HTG), to meet this increased demand, the company has expanded rapidly.

Over the last three years GTEC has gone from one centre in Hawes, North Yorkshire, to 19 training locations within the first 3 months of 2024 covering the breadth of the UK, including a partnership with leading builders’ merchants, City Plumbing.

Stumbling blocks along the way

Griff Thomas, MD for GTEC, said: “It’s been an exciting few years at GTEC. We have always been at the forefront of renewables training; it is a passion of mine and we have focussed on the green arm of building services since our launch 16 years ago.

“Despite some stumbling blocks along the renewables road, the UK is now in an era of ‘whens’ not ‘ifs’, with heat pumps, solar PV, battery storage and electric vehicles in particular becoming mainstream contributors to the path to Net Zero.

“We are always looking to the future and new ways of delivery – partnering with builders’ merchants, developing bespoke courses for manufacturers, including SolarEdge and Wienerberger, and expanding our own offering to meet the needs of the modern installer. 2024 has seen the addition of online insulation courses.

“We have built a ‘house’ in centre to help demonstrate the practical elements of this training. Reducing the carbon footprint of our buildings requires a holistic approach, and we want to ensure that everyone understand this – from installers to end users.

Seizing opportunities

“Building services engineers are in a fantastic position to seize the opportunities of a marketplace that shows no sign of slowing down. I urge any heating and plumbing installers not yet trained in heat pumps to take this opportunity. An investment in training will pay dividends and ensure business success as we move away from fossil fuels.”

Debra Boucher, manager of City Plumbing’s Energy Efficiency Energy Centre in Farnborough, added: “As of March 2024, 222 installers completed training courses via GTEC and City Plumbing. In a further commitment to driving forward interest in renewable technology, in early 2024, City Plumbing expanded its portfolio opening a second Renewables Centre in Basildon, Essex.

Richard, a plumber from Camberley, who trained at City Plumbing, said: “I wanted to get ahead of the same and learn something new. I enjoyed the course. It was engaging and informative. I feel like I’m ready to install my first heat pump.”

Image: GTEC Training