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Daikin Partners with Colleges to Train Next Generation of Green Heating Installers

Daikin Partners with Colleges

Low-carbon heating specialist, Daikin UK is working in partnership with colleges and training providers across Greater Manchester to help train the next generation of green heating installers as the nation shifts away from fossil fuel boilers.

In partnership with Quantum Group and the Green Skills Academy, Daikin UK will deliver the first ‘Train the Green Trainer’ programme for college tutors and staff at nine Greater Manchester colleges, including Hopwood College, Trafford College and Oldham College – with the ambition to train 50 heating and plumbing tutors by April 2024.

Quantum is installing renewable technology training facilities countrywide designed to upskill built environment students. Supporting college trainers in these new facilities is the next step to ensure learners are given a comprehensive foundation in sustainable and renewable energy technologies.

The aim is to develop a dedicated training programme to address the lack of certified heat pump installers in the region, which are crucial to Greater Manchester’s ambition of being a net zero city by 2038.

The five-day course will cover the skills required to install heat pumps in a wide range of circumstances, and also to fully configure and commission to suit the homeowners’ varying requirements. It will equip college staff with the qualifications and know-how to launch and deliver the Government’s first-of-its-kind Low Carbon Heating Apprenticeship across these colleges from September 2024.

Daikin UK will also be working with college staff in Greater Manchester to install Daikin heat pumps at the colleges on completion of the five-day course.

It is estimated there are only 3,000 trained heat pump engineers in the UK – yet at least 27,000 will be needed in the next six years alone. The UK is facing a major challenge to fill the green skills gaps needed to meet the government’s ambitious target of net zero by 2050 and its aim to have 600,000 heat pumps installed each year by 2028 – more than 200,000 people need training for green energy roles by 2050.

Demand shows no sign of slowing, the government’s recent increase in funding available through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) from £5,000 to £7,500, saw a significant 173% increase in BUS grant applications, including heat pump installations.

Martin Passingham, Head of Product and Training at Daikin UK, said:

“Demand for heat pump installations in the region is currently being let down by the availability of trained and certified installers. At Daikin, we can train more than 10,000 installers on air source heat pumps through our accredited and product-related courses through Daikin Training Academies and our extensive network of Sustainable Home Centres – and we’re striving to train around 30% of all installers in the industry.

“However, greater training and support to bolster access to installers is needed. Our partnership with the Green Skills Academy will equip college staff and tutors with the tools needed to upskill a new generation of heat pump installers and help fill the current installer gap.

“Increased Government funding through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS), and more awareness of the financial and energy saving advantages of heat pumps is driving increased appetite among UK homeowners – a wider pool of installers must be on hand to meet this demand.

“Throughout a heat pump’s 15-year lifespan, a typical three-bedroom home could save over 24,000 kg of CO2 compared with running a gas boiler, and achieve cost savings of more than £3,000*, which will rise significantly once the climate levy switches to gas and the price of electricity comes down. And if all 23 million gas boilers in the UK were replaced with heat pumps, the savings in wholesale gas costs would be worth around 1.2% of GDP (£26 billion).”

Maria Gonella, Quantum Group Managing Partner, added:

“Trainers equipped with years of industry experience and a solid foundation in emerging renewable energy technologies will have a powerful impact on the careers of our low carbon engineers; by working together we will accelerate the transition to net zero. Education at all levels is key to change.”

Roosevelt Alexander, Director of the Green Skills Academy at the Growth Company, added:

“Our Green Skills Academy was established in 2023 to play a key role in overcoming the biggest barrier we are facing across the UK to achieving net zero, by training the workforce to overcome the skills shortage.

“In Greater Manchester alone we need an additional 3,000 heat pump installers by 2027 and this can only be achieved by ensuring that there is training support available for the trainers themselves to pass on to the next generation of the workforce.

“We are proud to play a key role in ensuring that this training is available to support the wider goals of the region and meet the UK-wide goal of decarbonising home heating by 2038. We look forward to welcoming the first cohort of tutors to the Academy this month and seeing the rollout of the Low Carbon Heating Apprenticeship across Greater Manchester.”

*Comparison between Daikin Altherma 3 LT Split Wall Mounted heat pump and average gas boiler

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