The UK government is considering the introduction of a new set of basic construction skills requirements centred around sustainability in an effort to boost retrofitting works and the rollout of low-carbon heating.
The government has said that that the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), an arm-length body of the Department for Education (DFE), was in the early planning stages of work to develop ‘green skills’ training modules.
It said the skills would serve to embed understanding of carbon and environmental imperative “in every aspect of construction”.
The commitments have been set out in the government’s official response to a report from Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee looking at green jobs.
As part of the response, the government said the delayed Heat and Buildings Strategy identified a need to improve energy efficiency in buildings to meet the UK’s goal of becoming a net-zero economy by 2050.
The government’s response stated: “In practice, this means ensuring that any new buildings are constructed to the highest standards of energy efficiency, so that they do not need to be retrofitted in future, as well as retrofitting our existing buildings so that they waste less heat and are warmer, healthier, and greener.”
The government also said it recognised the need for a sufficiently skilled and competent workforce to be available across all areas of the supply chain.
In addition, the government has made commitments to monitor the construction sector to assess what kind of impact existing interventions will have on skills training.
The government says it is considering options for working with the construction sector to support training for vital skills where there exists a shortage of qualified tradespeople.
The response read: “Through the Skills for Jobs White Paper, we are reforming our skills system to create more routes into skilled employment in sectors the economy needs, such as housing retrofit.
“We have put employers at the heart of these reforms. We have existing programmes that currently support construction skills, such as Skills Bootcamps.
“These offer short, flexible courses in key green sectors such as housing retrofit, and The Engineering for Construction T Level.”
The Engineering for Construction T Level was launched in Sept and covers housing retrofit and heat-pump installation.
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