A renewables mountain to climb for the BSE sector

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New research by SummitSkills, the Sector Skills Council for building services engineering, has revealed the sector has a steep training climb ahead if it is to be ready for the future demand for environmental technologies.

The new report, Potential Training Demand in Environmental Technologies in Building Services Engineering: Indicative training needs analysis using a scenario-based approach, is the second of a set of three reports analysing trends in the sector's engagement with renewables.

It identifies the potential impact of these trends on training demands in the UK up to 2020 using two scenarios; one based on the concept of a mass-trained workforce, i.e. a nominal 100% of the sector being trained in the technologies appropriate to their core competencies, and the other a pro-rata analysis of scenario one, where 25-60% of the sector are trained depending on the environmental technology under consideration.

Summarising the training figures for twelve environmental technologies in the English regions and devolved nations of the UK, the report estimates the number of awareness training places which would be required to promote careers in the sector. In addition, consideration is given to programmes and events in each region and devolved nation that could trigger a sudden demand for environmental technologies. The report will be subject to future updates as Treasury forecasts become available.

Dr Mike Hammond, research manager at SummitSkills, said: "We've known for some time there is a gap between supply and demand in the renewables market, and this is only set to increase, particularly in the domestic market now the Government has given the green light to the continuation of the Renewable Heat Incentive and Feed-In Tariffs. This report attempts to identify early indicators of change and estimate training needs to avoid a scramble to meet market energy demand for renewables and government carbon reduction targets. To prevent overheating of the supply network and proliferation of rogue traders, the sector needs to take action now to train a workforce capable of meeting future demand for environmental technologies."