New skills partnership aims to upskill 230 West Midlands professionals in retrofit

New skills partnership aims to upskill 230 West Midlands professionals in retrofit

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has agreed a new skills partnership with The Retrofit Academy with the aim of fast-tracking the careers of 230 local retrofitters as the region looks to ramp up the number of homes is it making more energy efficient.

The new partnership follows the WMCA’s successful bid for new Government funding, which will see a total of £34 million allocated from the Homes Upgrade Grant (HUG) and Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF). The funding, which will be matched by a further £35 million from registered social housing providers across the region, will see around 3,000 homes retrofitted with better insulation, new doors and windows, and greener heating systems.

The WMCA’s Skills for Life Bootcamp offers funded flexible courses taking up to 16 weeks, to provide prospective retrofitters with sector-specific training on how to sustainably upgrade buildings in the form of level 3, 4 and 5 qualifications in domestic retrofit. Funding is available for those that live or work in the West Midlands to complete the following:

  • Level 3 AIM Qualifications Award in Domestic Retrofit Advice
  • Level 4 AIM Qualifications Award in Domestic Retrofit Assessment
  • Level 5 AIM Qualifications Diploma in Retrofit Coordination and Risk Management

The courses aim to address the retrofit skills gap posed by a rise in demand for energy efficiency measures following the allocation of the SHDF and HUG funding. They are available for a range of individuals, including locals currently employed by social housing providers or contractors, self-employed professionals, people currently out of work and those looking for a career change.

The Skills for Life Bootcamps are designed to upskill people from both an industry and non-industry background to increase the number of professionals qualified to conduct retrofitting in the West Midlands.

For self-employed professionals or those currently out of work, the partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority provides fully funded training and a resulting career change opportunity through The Skills for Life Bootcamps.

David Pierpoint, Chief Executive at The Retrofit Academy commented: “It is great to be establishing a partnership with a forward-thinking region for training that directly supports with the decarbonisation of homes in the West Midlands. Working together with regions across the UK to train up a large workforce of qualified retrofitters is going to be key to fulfilling SHDF and HUG programmes and achieving the net zero goals.

“In partnership with the WMCA, we can offer interested individuals across different regions in the UK with the opportunity to gain qualifications in retrofit, helping us reach those targets. This means the social housing providers, local authorities and contractors can have the best talent to support them delivering programmes across the region. For people in the West Midlands, it will also be providing people with skills to take up the new green job opportunities and equip them to improve homes for hundreds of residents in the region.”

The news of the skills partnership comes following the announcement that The Retrofit Academy has enrolled its 5,000th learner to its training courses from across the country. Alongside this, those who complete the course will have access to the organisation’s new Careers Hub, designed to bring new talent and employers together. With its goal of training 200,000 retrofitters by the end of the decade well underway, the new additions to the workforce will lead the sustainable upgrade of UK homes.

David continued: “The Skills for Life Bootcamps provide those taking part with the opportunity to gain vital industry knowledge from our trained professionals that they can apply to future retrofit projects throughout the West Midlands. As we continue to drive large-scale, high-quality retrofit, those who qualify will play a key role in leading the charge in the West Midlands.” For more information on the Skills Bootcamps, please click here.

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