‘Retrofit revolution’ to see training programmes on new tech for London solar workforce

‘Retrofit revolution’ to see training programmes on new tech for London solar workforce

Published: 2 Jun 2021, 10:36

Image: Daniel Chapman/Flickr.

Battery storage, electric vehicle (EV) charging and related smart tech are to be the focus of new training and apprenticeships launched by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan in partnership with Solar Energy UK.

This programme – dubbed Solar Skills London – also includes a placement to get trainees into solar businesses and targeted grant schemes to deliver training to staff at 100 solar installation companies in the city. It is hoped it will enable Londoners to learn more about solar technologies and help to create more green jobs.

The Mayor of London pointed to other support for solar within the capital, with around 200 schools having signed up to have solar panels and other energy efficiency work done with support and expertise from City Hall. 

Indeed, the Mayor has also been a vocal supporter of the technology, having called for a national solar policy in 2018 following the launch of the second phase of the Solar Together London group buying scheme.

The same year, the Mayor sent a letter to then-energy minister Claire Perry expressing his “deep concern” over the proposals to close the small-scale feed-in tariff and the export tariff for new installations that were published the previous month.

Other measures today revealed to support what the Mayor described as a “retrofit revolution” include an Innovation Partnership designed to make it easier for social landlords and UK building firms to work together to upgrade aging homes. This partnership has a potential value of £10 billion in retrofit works, which could create around 150,000 jobs over the decade.

Also announced was the creation of a £3.5 billion national retrofit centre of excellence, with this intended to help assist social housing providers gain access to funding for major retrofit projects.

It is “vital” that London leads the way, Khan said, with the new measures to support Londoners with the skills needed for jobs in the green economy to help rebuild the city after COVID-19 “so that it’s cleaner, greener and fairer”.

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