£6m skills programme to boost Scotland’s net-zero housing goals

A new £6m skills programme will help to train the next generation of housing professionals meet Scotland’s net-zero goals.

Over 2,000 people in south-east Scotland are set to benefit from the first wave of skills and career support from the new Housing, Construction and Infrastructure (HCI) Skills Gateway which will offer training in the installation of renewable energy in homes, how to fit EV chargepoints and other environmental technologies for the home.

Supported by the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal and funded by the Scottish government, the HCI Skills Gateway will provide multi-level support to schools, new entrants to the sector and upskill the existing workforce.

Napier’s Institute for Sustainable Construction has forecast a construction skills supply shortage of over 3,500 in south-east Scotland in the coming years, so the HCI Skills Gateway aims to help reduce this gap and support inclusive growth for people across the region.

The programme is being delivered by the region’s universities and colleges.

Further waves of HCI support will be announced later in 2020 for offsite construction and advanced skills.

According to Professor Sean Smith, who is leading the programme at Edinburgh Napier University, a key opportunity will be to ‘enable the region’s low carbon ambitions, embedding new technologies and clean-tech approaches for future homes and buildings.’

‘This is the start of a step-change in support across the region to enable and support our future workforce and net-zero ambitions,’ he added.

‘This inclusive growth support will provide an attractive route into future job opportunities and career pathways and we are particularly keen to support unemployed entering this sector, attracting more women into construction and engineering and supporting existing employees with new skills.’

CEO of Fife Council, Steve Grimmond, who chairs the City Region Deal’s integrated regional employability and skills board said: ‘The HCI project demonstrates the regional reach for both urban and rural areas of this City Region Deal.

‘This is one of seven flagship projects to support inclusive communities and regional growth and it is positive, given our sustainable development ambitions, that so many of these work-ready courses are aligned to our future low carbon infrastructure.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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Thomas Barrett

Thomas Barrett

Journalist. Follow him on Twitter

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