New heat pump apprenticeship scheme wins government funding

(c) Claire Wood

The UK’s first ever dedicated low-carbon heating apprenticeship is set to be launched as the government has confirmed funding for the scheme.

As the nation shifts away from fossil fuel heating systems and onto renewables, the Low-Carbon Heating Technician Apprenticeship is expected to equip a new generation of workers to help reach the government’s target of installing 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028, it said.

According to a statement, the UK will require 57,000 qualified heat pump installers by the end of the decade if it is to meet government targets for the installation of the renewable energy-powered heating systems.

The new apprenticeship was developed by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), in collaboration with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) and a trailblazer group of heat pump installers.

Earlier this year, the apprenticeship was hand-picked by industry experts from IfATE to mark King Charles III’s Coronation in recognition of the important contribution it can make towards encouraging more people to take up careers in green industries. It is one of six green apprenticeships to carry the coronation emblem.

The apprenticeship has now been allocated a funding band by the Department for Education, meaning colleges will receive up to £22,000 for every apprentice.

Industry experts say this attractive funding support will help ensure that colleges have the resources they need to support apprentices from all backgrounds wanting a career in the renewables sector. The funding band is higher than that allocated for equivalent apprenticeships for fossil fuel heating systems.

Ian Rippin, MCS’ CEO, said: “We are pleased that the UK’s first ever heat pump apprenticeship received government approval.

“Until now, the country’s efforts to increase our number of low-carbon heating installers have been delivered through short bolt-on courses after completion of a traditional fossil fuel heating installation course.

“It is critical that we have dedicated pathways to develop an army of renewable heating installers with certifiable skills who know how to design and fit these systems efficiently.

“Most importantly, this workforce will know how to support homeowners in heating and decarbonising their homes.”

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