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Joint Investment Programme success for environmental technologies

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SummitSkills, the Sector Skills Council for the building services engineering sector, has announced its successful Joint investment Programme bid for the implementation and delivery of environmental technology training.

As a result, over 130 businesses in the sector will benefit from 50% funding of the cost of identified environmental technologies training that will take place before 31 July 2011. Specifically, this will deliver upskilling to level 3 awards in solar thermal systems, heat pump systems, solar photovoltaic systems and water recycling systems.

The Joint Investment Programme, first announced in Skills for Growth, brings together public and private investment to support skills development in areas key to economic recovery and future growth. It offers ring-fenced funding to buy the skills employers need, with the provider they choose.

The programme will support employers in the building services engineering sector to take advantage of business opportunities in environmental technologies through accredited training. Employers will be given an upfront commitment of funding to match their own investment, supporting the specific skills needs of their workforce. Existing apprentices in an appropriate job function will also be eligible as part of an additional pathway within their Advanced Apprenticeship Framework Agreement.

Keith Marshall OBE, chief executive, SummitSkills said: "I am very happy not only with the successful bid but also with the number of businesses who expressed their interest and support in this programme. Recent research published by SummitSkills found that overall engagement in environmental technologies is increasing in the sector; however there are not enough trained operatives in the UK to cope with any sudden demand over the next two years. With the increase in interest around environmental technologies this programme will be a huge benefit to the sector."

Geoff Russell, chief executive, Skills Funding Agency said: "These programmes will benefit from public and private co-investment to promote economic recovery and sustainable growth. They will harness the knowledge and expertise of employers to develop and deliver training that's tailored to support the skills needs of their sector, including building services engineering. The Joint Investment Programme represents exactly the kind of partnership essential for the future success of the learning sector, meeting business' need for skills, bringing huge benefits to people, companies and the economy."

Skills minister, John Hayes, said: "We need to support the demand for technical skills in order to ensure that British businesses can succeed and take advantage of opportunities for growth. The joint investment announced today between government and business shows that we are working together to develop and deliver the skills needed in areas such as advanced manufacturing and the low carbon economy. This is also an excellent example of employers committing to apprenticeships at Levels 3 and 4 as a way to create and train the modern workforce they need."

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