With the UK showing a commitment to tackling the climate crisis by setting a target to meet net-zero emissions by 2050, the Joint Industry Board (JIB) is urging electrical contracting companies to evolve and broaden their skill sets.
The JIB believes that the increasing adoption of greener technologies presents contractors with a number of opportunities to upskill and open up their services to new markets. In 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £3bn boost to the UK green economy to be spent on decarbonising buildings and introducing modern systems to save homeowners on their energy bills and kickstart the sector.
We have also recently seen the Government get behind plans to support up to 220,000 British jobs in the green sector with the release of the Energy White Paper in December pledging another £6.7bn in support for this sector. The intention is to create a greener and more sustainable energy network in the UK for which environmental technologies such as solar photovoltaics, electric vehicles and battery storage will pletay a part.
Environmental skills and qualifications are part of continuing professional development (CPD) for many electrotechnical operatives and can be recognised within an ECS registration and on the reverse of an ECS card.
The JIB is, therefore, encouraging member companies to take advantage of the JIB’s Skills Development Fund, which provides financial assistance for courses for those undertaking further education and training in the electrical industry.
The following green technology qualifications are accepted by the JIB Skills Development Fund as eligible courses: Solar Photovoltaic Installation and Maintenance; Electric Vehicle Charging Point Installation (City & Guilds 2919-01); ONC/HNC/Degree courses in sustainable engineering.
ECS cardholders are also encouraged to highlight and show off their hard-earned qualifications and skills by including these in their ECS card renewals and updating their registration.
Darren Crannis, Managing Director of CTS Electrical, was funded through the JIB Skills Development Fund to undertake the C&G 2919-01 (as well as obtaining European Social Funding), and he believes all electrical contractors can benefit by improving their knowledge on electrical vehicle charging equipment (EVCE).
Darren said: “The EV market is constantly evolving and it is going to play a crucial role if the UK is to succeed in hitting its net-zero target by 2050. It really makes sense for installers to become familiar with EV technology as early as possible and it has certainly opened up a profitable new avenue for our business.”
He added: “The Level 3 City & Guilds 2919 is a two-day in-depth course on the design and installation of EVCE. There is access to funding via European Social Fund (ESF) from training providers and if you are a JIB company this course is eligible for JIB skills funding, which reduced the cost of the course significantly for me.”
Andy Reakes, Head of Growth at the JIB and ECS, said: “Once Covid-19 has been dealt with there will be a real move to set our attention again on Net-Zero by 2050 and climate change. The Energy White Paper is another example of the microgeneration and environmental market receiving further Government support into 2021.
“For companies looking to capitalise and move into new markets, the JIB Skills Development Fund can help to upskill their workforce and diversify into new and emerging technologies. If your company has been forced to reduce numbers in the workforce, it is open to those who have been made redundant. Also if you or a colleague would benefit from a helping hand to upskill, the fund may be able to provide grants to help those unemployed re-enter the workforce.”
Further information on the JIB Skills Development Fund is available here.